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New insights into the pathogenesis and transmission of Brucella pinnipedialis: systemic infection in two bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

New research article published in Microbiology spectrum.

Abstract: Brucella spp. are zoonotic pathogens that can affect both terrestrial and marine mammals. Brucella ceti has been identified in various cetacean species, but only one sequence type (ST27) has been reported in humans. However, it is important to conduct surveillance studies to better understand the impact of marine Brucella species on marine mammals, a typically understudied host group. Here, we describe a systemic infection by two related strains of Brucella pinnipedialis (ST25) in a couple of live-stranded bottlenose dolphins, with more severe lesions in the younger animal. Furthermore, B. pinnipedialis was first detected in milk from a female cetacean that stranded with its offspring. Our study reveals novel insights into the epidemiology and pathological consequences of B. pinnipedialis infections in cetaceans, emphasizing the crucial importance of ongoing surveillance and accurate diagnosis to understand the impact of this pathogen on marine mammal populations.

Vargas-Castro I, Crespo-Picazo JL, Fayos M, Jiménez-Martínez MdlÁ, Torre-Fuentes L, Álvarez J, Moura AE, Hernández M, Buendía A, Barroso-Arévalo S, García-Seco T, Pérez-Sancho M, De Miguel MJ, Andrés-Barranco S, Marco-Cabedo V, Peñin-Villahoz G, Muñoz PM, Domínguez L, García-Párraga D and Sánchez-Vizcaíno JM. 

 Open access article