Lesions caused by cardiovascular flukes (Digenea : Spirorchidae) in stranded green turtles (Chelonia mydas)

Gordon, AN, Kelly, WR and Cribb, TH (1998) Lesions caused by cardiovascular flukes (Digenea : Spirorchidae) in stranded green turtles (Chelonia mydas). Veterinary Pathology, 35 1: 21-30. doi:10.1177/030098589803500102

Author Gordon, AN
Kelly, WR
Cribb, TH
Title Lesions caused by cardiovascular flukes (Digenea : Spirorchidae) in stranded green turtles (Chelonia mydas)
Journal name Veterinary Pathology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0300-9858
Publication date 1998
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/030098589803500102
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 35
Issue 1
Start page 21
End page 30
Total pages 10
Language eng
Abstract Evidence of infection with spirorchid flukes (Digenea: Spirorchidae) was sought at necropsy of 96 stranded green turtles, Chelonia mydas, that were examined during the course of a survey of marine turtle mortality in southeastern Queensland, Australia. Three species of spirorchid (Hapalotrema mehrai, H. postorchis, and Neospirorchis schistosomatoides) were identified. Severe disease due to spirorchid fluke infection (spirorchidiasis) was implicated as the principal cause of mortality in 10 turtles (10%), and appeared to be one of multiple severe problems in an additional 29 turtles (30%). Although flukes were observed in only 45% of stranded C. mydas in this study, presumed spirorchid fluke infection was diagnosed in an additional 53% of turtles, based principally on characteristic necropsy lesions and to a lesser extent on the histopathological detection of spirorchid eggs. Characteristic necropsy lesions included miliary spirorchid egg granulomas, which were observed most readily on serosal surfaces, particularly of the small intestine. Cardiovascular lesions included mural endocarditis, arteritis, and thrombosis, frequently accompanied by aneurysm formation. Resolution of thrombi was observed to occur via a combination of granuloma formation about indigestible components (spirorchid fluke egg shells) and exteriorization through the vessel wall, which resulted in granulomatous nodules on the adventitial surface. Septic aortic thrombosis complicated by disseminated bacterial infection, observed in five turtles, was recorded for the first time. Egg granulomas were ubiquitous in turtle tissues throughout this study. Although they generally appeared to be mild or incidental lesions, they were occasionally associated with severe multifocal granulomatous pneumonia or meningitis.
Keyword Pathology
Veterinary Sciences
Cardiovascular Diseases
Chelonia Mydas
Disease Survey
Green Turtles
Spirorchid Fluke
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 41 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 10:17:57 EST