Coccidioidomycosis in a bottlenose dolphin

Thomas H. Reidarson, Lynn A. Griner, Demosthenes Pappagianis, Jim McBain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


A stranded bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus gilli) succumbed to a pulmonary infection of Coccidioides immitis. The dolphin initially presented with mild inspiratory dyspnea that rapidly worsened over 48 hr to include buoyancy abnormalities and finally death. At necropsy, caseous nodules were observed throughout the lungs and perihilar lymph nodes. On histological examination of tissues, double walled organisms containing endospores characteristic of C. immitis were observed in lung, perihilar lymph nodes, and brain. Pyogranulomatous infiltrates were observed in the lung and perihilar lymph nodes only. A DNA Gen-Probe test performed on a purified isolate confirmed infection by C. immitis. Serum was positive for antibodies to C. immitis at a titer of 1:128 and was negative for all known marine morbilliviruses. Although there have been reports of C. immitis infections in free ranging marine wildlife, including California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and sea otters (Enhydra lutris), this is the first reported case of coccidioidomycosis in a cetacean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-631
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Wildlife Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1998


  • Bottlenose dolphin
  • Case report
  • Coccidioides immitis
  • Coccidioidomycosis
  • Fungal disease
  • Mycosis
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Tursiops truncatus gilli

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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