Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 10, 2002
Publication Date: July 10, 2002
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Eggers, J.S., Lipscomb, T.P. 2002. Intestinal coccidiosis in a spinner dolphin (stenella longirostris). Journal of Parasitology 88:634-637.
Interpretive Summary: Coccidia are single-celled parasites of livestock and humans. Although coccidial infections are common in many species of livestock, little is known of coccidiosis in sea mammals. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology report severe coccidiosis in a spinner dolphin. These results will be on interest to veterinarians, parasitologists, pathologists and marine biologists.
Intestinal coccidiosis was diagnosed histologically in the small intestine of a spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris). Numerous intralesional coccidia were present in mucosal epithelial cells. Schizonts, gamonts, and unsporulated oocysts were seen. Schizonts were up to 30 x 20 m and contained up to 16 merozoites which measured 10-12 x 2 m. Unsporulated oocysts were about 9-12 x 8-10 m. This is the first report of intestinal coccidiosis in a cetacean.