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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: FIRST REPORT OF STREPTOCOCCUS AGALACTIAE AND LACTOCOCCUS GARVIEAE FROM A WILD BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS)

Authors
item EVANS, JOYCE
item Pasnik, David
item Klesius, Phillip
item Al-Ablani, Salam - KUWAIT INSTITUTE FOR SCIE

Submitted to: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 5, 2006
Publication Date: November 15, 2006
Citation: Evans, J.J., Pasnik, D.J., Klesius, P.H., Al-Ablani, S. 2006. First report of Streptococcus agalactiae and Lactococcus garvieae from a wild bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 42 (3). pp. 561-569.

Interpretive Summary: Streptococcal infections have been reported to cause significant morbidity and mortality among marine mammals. The isolation and characterization of 2 previously unreported bacterial species, Streptococcus agalactiae and Lactococcus garvieae, in marine mammals are described from a freshly-dead bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, from Kuwait Bay, Kuwait in September 2001. Conventional and rapid identification systems were used to determine that the isolates from the muscle and kidney were S. agalactiae and L. garvieae, respectively. The isolates were Gram-positive, catalase negative, oxidase negative, non-haemolytic cocci. The S. agalactiae was serotyped to group antigen B, while the L. garvieae could not be assigned to any serogroup. These Kuwait isolates displayed considerable homogeneity with corresponding American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) type isolates. Although the dolphin S. agalactiae isolate was non-haemolytic, it was biochemically similar to S. agalactiae isolated from mullet sampled in the concurrent Kuwait Bay fish kill. Some biochemical heterogeneity was observed between the dolphin isolates and corresponding mammalian ATCC type isolates, especially with Voges Proskauer, alanine-phenylanaline-proline arylamidase, and alpha-galactosidase tests. Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, were experimentally infected with the dolphin S. agalactiae and L. garvieae isolates and experienced 90% and 0% mortalities, respectively. This is the first isolation of S. agalactiae and L. garvieae from a marine mammal, and the microbial characteristics established here provide pertinent information for the future isolation of these bacteria. Potential implications for wild and aquarium marine mammal populations are discussed.

Technical Abstract: The isolation and characterization of 2 previously unreported bacterial species, Streptococcus agalactiae and Lactococcus garvieae, in marine mammals are described from a freshly-dead bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, from Kuwait Bay, Kuwait in September 2001. Conventional and rapid identification systems were used to determine that the isolates from the muscle and kidney were S. agalactiae and L. garvieae, respectively. The isolates were Gram-positive, catalase negative, oxidase negative, non-haemolytic cocci. The S. agalactiae was serotyped to group antigen B, while the L. garvieae could not be assigned to any serogroup. These Kuwait isolates displayed considerable homogeneity with corresponding American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) type isolates. Although the dolphin S. agalactiae isolate was non-haemolytic, it was biochemically similar to S. agalactiae isolated from mullet sampled in the concurrent Kuwait Bay fish kill. Some biochemical heterogeneity was observed between the dolphin isolates and corresponding mammalian ATCC type isolates, especially with Voges Proskauer, alanine-phenylanaline-proline arylamidase, and alpha-galactosidase tests. Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, were experimentally infected with the dolphin S. agalactiae and L. garvieae isolates and experienced 90% and 0% mortalities, respectively. This is the first isolation of S. agalactiae and L. garvieae from a marine mammal, and the microbial characteristics established here provide pertinent information for the future isolation of these bacteria. Potential implications for wild and aquarium marine mammal populations are discussed.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014