Bacterial and viral pathogens detected in sea turtles stranded along the coast of Tuscany, Italy

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Sea are examined. The first isolation of Lactococcus garviae and the first detection of Betanodavirus in sea turtles indicate the possibility for sea turtles to act as carriers of pathogens. Furthermore, the isolation of two strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus highlights the possible role of these animals in human pathogens’ diffusion.

During 2014, six loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta and one green turtle, Chelonia mydas, found stranded on the Tuscany coast of Italy, were examined for the presence of specific bacterial and viral agents, along with their role as carriers of fish and human pathogens. Thirteen different species of bacteria, 10 Gram negative and 3 Gram positive, were identified. Among them, two strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and one strain of Lactococcus garviae were recovered and confirmed by specific PCR protocols.

No trhand tdh genes were detected in V. parahaemolyticus. The first isolation of L. garviae and the first detection of Betanodavirus in sea turtles indicate the possibility for sea turtles to act as carriers of fish pathogens. Furthermore, the isolation of two strains of V. parahaemolyticus highlights the possible role of these animals in human pathogens’ diffusion.

Authors: G. Fichi et al. Reference.

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