Fatal disseminated toxoplasmosis was diagnosed in a Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) dam and its fetus on the basis of pathologic findings, immunohistochemistry, and structure of the parasite. The dolphin was stranded alive on the Spanish Mediterranean coast and died a few hours later. At necropsy the dam was in good condition. From the standpoint of pathology, however, it had generalized lymphadenomegaly and splenomegaly, enlargement of and multifocal hemorrhage in the adrenal glands, diffuse mucosal hemorrhage of the glandular and pyloric stomach, ulcerative glossitis and stomatitis, focal erosions and reddening of the laryngeal appendix, and severe paraotic sinusitis with intralesional nematodes Crassicauda grampicola. The dolphin was pregnant, most probably in the first gestational trimester. The most prominent microscopic lesions were multifocal granulomatous encephalomyelitis, diffuse subacute interstitial pneumonia, mild multifocal necrotizing hepatitis and nonsuppurative cholangiohepatitis, gastritis and adrenalitis, mild lymphoid depletion, medullary sinus and follicular histyocitosis, and systemic hemosiderosis. The fetus had foci of coagulative and lytic necrosis in the kidneys, the lung, and the heart. Most lesions were associated with tachyzoites and tissue cysts of Toxoplasma gondii. The diagnosis was confirmed immunohistochemically. This is the first report on toxoplasmosis in a Risso's dolphin (G. griseus) and on transplacental transmission to an early-stage fetus in any cetaceans.
Disseminated Toxoplasmosis in a Mediterranean Pregnant Risso's Dolphin (Grampus griseus) with Transplacental Fetal Infection
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A. R. Resendes, S. Almería, J. P. Dubey, E. Obón, C. Juan-Sallés, E. Degollada, F. Alegre, O. Cabezón, S. Pont, M. Domingo; Disseminated Toxoplasmosis in a Mediterranean Pregnant Risso's Dolphin (Grampus griseus) with Transplacental Fetal Infection. J Parasitol 1 October 2002; 88 (5): 1029–1032. doi: https://doi.org/10.1645/0022-3395(2002)088[1029:DTIAMP]2.0.CO;2
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