Mycobacterium abscessus pneumonia in an atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Leigh Ann Clayton, M. Andrew Stamper, Brent R. Whitaker, Catherine A. Hadfield, Brian Simons, Joseph L Mankowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Mycobacterium abscessus pneumonia was diagnosed antemortem in a 23-yr-old male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Clinical signs included lethargy, hyporexia, coughing, and bloody respiratory discharge. Diagnostic findings included neutrophilic leukocytosis, anemia, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and repeated forceful exhaled breath (sputum) cytology, with acute inflammatory cells and acid-fast positive beaded rods. The bacteria were initially identified free in the sputum sample and subsequently were seen within neutrophils. A culture was positive for a rapidly growing, white, colony-forming organism confirmed as M. abscessus by polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing. Clinical signs initially resolved with multidrug therapy. Concurrent Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection complicated clinical management and contributed to terminal decline. The dolphin was euthanized 5 mo after initial diagnosis. Necropsy results demonstrated acid-fast positive bacteria in lung tissue and supported the diagnosis of M. abscessus pneumonia. Acid-fast stains and mycobacteria cultures should be considered when evaluating ill dolphins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)961-965
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 14 2012

Fingerprint

Mycobacterium abscessus
Bottle-Nosed Dolphin
Tursiops truncatus
Mycobacterium
pneumonia
Dolphins
Pneumonia
dolphins
Sputum
Acids
acids
erythrocyte sedimentation rate
Bacteria
Pseudomonas Infections
Lethargy
Blood Sedimentation
bacteria
Leukocytosis
DNA Sequence Analysis
Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Keywords

  • Bottlenose dolphin
  • clarithromycin
  • computed tomography
  • Mycobacterium abscessus
  • pneumonia
  • Tursiops truncatus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

Cite this

Mycobacterium abscessus pneumonia in an atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). / Clayton, Leigh Ann; Andrew Stamper, M.; Whitaker, Brent R.; Hadfield, Catherine A.; Simons, Brian; Mankowski, Joseph L.

In: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, Vol. 43, No. 4, 14.12.2012, p. 961-965.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Clayton, Leigh Ann ; Andrew Stamper, M. ; Whitaker, Brent R. ; Hadfield, Catherine A. ; Simons, Brian ; Mankowski, Joseph L. / Mycobacterium abscessus pneumonia in an atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). In: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. 2012 ; Vol. 43, No. 4. pp. 961-965.
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