VOLUME 46, NUMBER 1, 1998

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 46 (1) (1998)
 
CONTENTS AND ABSTRACTS
 
Immunology
 
Effect of immunostimulation on cytotoxic activity of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes of chickens in infectious bursal disease and Eimeria tenella infections.
P. Anand Kumar, S. K. Das and J. R. Rao
1
 
Subpopulations of lymphocytes in cattle naturally infected with papillomavirus. Mária
Levkutová, Viera Revajová, M. Levkut and L. Leng
13
 
Infectious diseases
Eradication of brucellosis from a cattle herd in the Amazonian region (Short Communication).
L. Molnár, Éva Molnár, R. Barbosa and W. G. Vale
19
 
Protection of broiler breeders by an inactivated combined water-in-oil-in-water viral vaccine.
Z. Biđin, S. Čajavec, D. Sladić, Neda Ergotić, A. Cizelj and Biserka Pokrić
25
 
Internal medicine
Sonographic diagnosis of intestinal obstruction in the dog.
F. Manczur, K. Vörös, T. Vrabély, S. Wladár, T. Németh and B. Fenyves
35
 
Nutrition
Evaluation of the nutritional value of the amaranth plant I. Raw and heat-treated grain tested in experiments on growing rats.
Emese Andrásofszky, Z. Szőcs, S. Fekete and Katalin Jelenits
47
 
Assessment of nutritional adequacy of the protein in dog foods by trials on growing rats.
M. Hegedűs, S. Fekete, L. Solti, Emese Andrásofszky and L. Pallós
61
 
Pathophysiology
Endocrine and reproductive consequences of certain endotoxin-mediated diseases in farm mammals: A review.
S. Jánosi, G. Huszenicza, Margit Kulcsár and P. Kóródi
71
 
Pharmacology
Therapeutic efficacy of doxycycline against experimental Pasteurella multocida infection in broiler chickens.
G. Semjén, T. Magyar and P. Laczay
85
 
Influence of Escherichia coli endotoxin induced fever on the pharmacokinetics and dosage regimen of oxytetracycline in cross-bred calves.
R. P. Singh,  A. K. Srivastava, S. K. Sharma and D. C. Nauriyal
95
 
Physiology
The influence of reproductive stage on the selenium status of sheep in a low-selenium region.
M. López Alonso, C. Castillo, M. Miranda, J. Hernández, I. Ayala and J. L. Benedito
101
 
Plasma proteins and haematological parameters in fattening pigs fed different sources of dietary zinc.
V. Rupić, Libuška Ivandija, Svjetlana Luterotti, Miroslava Dominis-Kramarić and R. Božac
111
 
Virology
Dolphin morbilliviral infection from the Mediterranean Sea did not spread into the Adriatic Sea.
H. Gomerčić, Đ . Huber, Vera Gomerčić, Darinka Škrtić,  Ana Gomerčić and Snježana Vuković
127

Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 46 (1), pp. 1–-11 (1998)

EFFECT OF IMMUNOSTIMULATION ON CYTOTOXIC ACTIVITY OF INTESTINAL INTRAEPITHELIAL LYMPHOCYTES OF CHICKENS IN INFECTIOUS BURSAL DISEASE AND EIMERIA TENELLA INFECTIONS

P. Anand Kumar1*, S. K. Das1 and J. R. Rao2

1Immunology Sectionand 2Division of Parasitology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, 243122 U. P., India

(Received May 29, 1997; accepted August 26, 1997)

In chickens, intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (iIELs) exhibit spontaneous natural killer (NK) cell like activity, by which they are active in the first line of defence on gut epithelial linings. In the present study, the cytotoxic activity of iIELs was found to be drastically suppressed in chickens experimentally infected with infectious bursal disease (IBD) virus at the age of 5 weeks and also in chickens experimentally infected with Eimeria tenella oocysts at the age of 8 weeks (p < 0.01). As nonspecific immunostimulation is gaining importance, immunostimulants such as immunostimulating Mycobacterium phlei (ISMP) and bone marrow culture supernatant (BMCS) were tested for their influence on the functional activity of iIELs of chickens in IBD and E. tenella infections. In chickens primed with ISMP a week prior to respective experimental infections, it was found that the cytotoxic activity of iIELs was restored (p < 0.01) in both IBD and E. tenella infections. At the same time, in chickens primed with BMCS a week prior to respective experimental infections, the cytotoxic activity of iIELs was restored to a certain extent (p < 0.01) in E. tenella but not at all in IBD infection. These results showed that application of immunostimulation helped potentiate and restore the functional activity of iIELs of chickens in IBD and E. tenella infections.

Key words: Eimeria tenella, infectious bursal disease (IBD), intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (iIELs), immunostimulation, natural killer (NK) cells

* Present address for correspondence: Dr. P. Anand Kumar, National Biotechnology Centre, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, 243122 U. P., India


Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 46 (1), pp. 11-–18 (1998)

SUBPOPULATIONS OF LYMPHOCYTES IN CATTLE NATURALLY INFECTED WITH PAPILLOMAVIRUS

Mária Levkutová1, Viera Revajová1, M. Levkut1 and L. Leng2

1Department of Pathological Anatomy, University of Veterinary Medicine,
041 81 Košice, Slovak Republic; 2Institute of Animal Physiology, SAS, 040 01 Košice, Slovak Republic

(Received April 23, 1997; accepted September 2, 1997)

Subpopulations of blood lymphocytes (CD2, CD4, CD8, WC1 and IgM-m chain) were evaluated in clinically manifested bovine papillomatosis. Significantly lower numbers of CD2 (44.7%), CD4 (22.8%) and a lower ratio of CD4/CD8 (1.5) were found in animals with tumours compared to a group of cattle free of papillomas (62.3%, 34%, and 2.3, respectively). On the other hand, significantly higher numbers of gamma/delta+ T lymphocytes (9.6%) and of lymphocytes expressing IgM molecules (35%) were observed in the group of tumour-bearing cattle than in the papilloma-free group (4.8% and 22.1%, respectively). The animals came from a region characterised by elevated concentrations of copper, zinc, arsenic, cadmium and lead in the soil and in the organs of animals. It is supposed that environmental factors predisposed the animals to the development of papillomas.

Key words: Cattle, subpopulations of lymphocytes, papillomatosis, immunosuppression, flow cytometry


Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 46 (1), pp. 19–-23 (1998)

ERADICATION OF BRUCELLOSIS FROM A CATTLE HERD IN THE AMAZONIAN REGION
(SHORT COMMUNICATION)

L. Molnár1, Éva Molnár1, R. Barbosa2 and W. G. Vale3

1Diagnostic Laboratory of Infectious Animal Diseases, Federation University of Pará, 66.075-900 Belém, Pará, Brazil; 2Faculty of Agrarian Science, Belém, Pará, Brazil; 3Laboratory of Reproduction, Federation University of Pará, Belém, Pará, Brazil

(Received July 14, 1997; accepted November 10, 1997)

The authors intend to elaborate a brucellosis eradication program which could be used in the Amazonian region, an area characterised by extremely extensive animal husbandry practices. Under such conditions, eradication by selection is the only feasible approach. Brucellosis has been successfully eradicated from a herd with 22.1% prevalence of infection by two serological surveys using an indirect ELISA and the complement fixation test.

Key words: Brucellosis, eradication, cattle, serology, Amazonian region


Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 46 (1), pp. 25–-34 (1998)

PROTECTION OF BROILER BREEDERS BY AN INACTIVATED COMBINED WATER-IN-OIL-IN-WATER VIRAL VACCINE

Z. Biđin1, S. Čajavec2, D. Sladić 2, Neda Ergotić 2, A. Cizelj2 and Biserka Pokrić 3*

1Department of Poultry Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagreb, P.O. Box 190, Croatia; 2PLIVA d.d. Research Institute, Zagreb, Croatia and 3Ruder Boškovia Institute, Zagreb, P.O. Box 1016, Croatia

(Received March 12, 1997; accepted August 4, 1997)

A four-component vaccine, prepared by combining the single vaccines, contains subunits of Newcastle disease and infectious bronchitis viruses, as well as whole inactivated infectious bursal disease and egg drop syndrome viruses. The vaccine is prepared in the form of a low-viscosity water-in-oil-in-water emulsion with low mineral oil content. Heavy breeders were vaccinated at the age of 20 weeks by intramuscular administration of 0.5 ml vaccine/bird in an experiment carried out under field conditions, involving 5000 female and 450 male parents. The birds had previously been vaccinated with live vaccines according to an obligatory field vaccination programme. Vaccination with the WOWE vaccine near the point of lay elicited serological responses protecting both the parents and their progeny. Each of the antigens administered in the four-component vaccine was as effective as the respective single component vaccine. The mortality, recorded during the 31-week experimental period, was 6.2%. Mortality and morbidity were not triggered by viruses against which vaccination was carried out. Egg production was not affected by the vaccination and was 170.2 eggs per hen during the 28-week production period.

Key words: Combined vaccine, egg drop syndrome, egg production, heavy breeders, inactivated vaccine, infectious bronchitis, infectious bursal disease, Newcastle disease, maternal antibodies, poultry vaccine

*To whom reprint requests should be addressed


Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 46 (1), pp. 35-–45 (1998)

SONOGRAPHIC DIAGNOSIS OF INTESTINAL OBSTRUCTION IN THE DOG

F. Manczur1, K. Vörös1, T. Vrabély1, S. Wladár1, T. Németh2 and B. Fenyves2

1Department and Clinic of Internal Medicine and 2Department and Clinic of Surgery and Ophthalmology, University of Veterinary Science, Budapest H–1400, P.O. Box 2, Hungary

(Received August 14, 1997; accepted October 2, 1997)

Ultrasonography was performed on 44 dogs to decide whether small bowel obstruction was present. The sonographic criteria for small bowel obstruction were (1) the presence of pendulous movement of the ingesta inside the dilated bowel, (2) observation of invaginated intestines or an ingested intraluminal foreign body, (3) observation of non-uniform peristaltic activity of the dilated intestines, or (4) observation of akinetic intestinal loops together with abdominal fluid accumulation. By using these criteria, obstruction was correctly diagnosed by ultrasonography in 11 of the 13 dogs with mechanical ileus, and obstruction was correctly excluded in 29 of the 31 non-obstructive cases. Thus, the above-mentioned sonographic criteria had 85% sensitivity and positive predictive value, and 94% specificity and negative predictive value. The present study suggests that ultrasonography is a valuable tool for diagnosing small intestinal obstruction in the dog.

Key words: Dog, ileus, intestinal diseases, small bowel obstruction, ultrasonography


Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 46 (1), pp. 47–-59 (1998)

EVALUATION OF THE NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF THE AMARANTH PLANT I. RAW AND HEAT-TREATED GRAIN TESTED IN EXPERIMENTS ON GROWING RATS

Emese Andrásofszky1, Z. Szőcs2, S. Fekete1and Katalin Jelenits1

1Department of Animal Breeding and Nutrition, University of Veterinary Science,
H–1400 Budapest, P.O. Box 2, Hungary; 2Central European University,
H–1051 Budapest, Nádor u. 9, Hungary

(Received June 4, 1997; accepted August 4, 1997)

Two experiments were carried out on rats to determine the nutritional value of raw and autoclaved amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus) seeds. The test groups of the first experiment were fed only ground amaranth seed. The control group received pure maize meal. Both test groups showed higher growth rate than the control group, due to the higher protein content of amaranth. The final body weight of rats fed autoclaved amaranth seed significantly exceeded that of rats fed raw amaranth seed. The Net Protein Utilisation (NPU) index of raw and autoclaved amaranth was determined in the second experiment. The diets had 10% crude protein concentration and the only protein source was the meal of raw and autoclaved amaranth seed. It was found that the heat treatment of amaranth increased the body weight gain of rats even when the animals consumed diets containing only 10% crude protein. The feed consumption was also higher with the diet containing autoclaved seeds. Despite the finding that there was no significant difference in the NPU index, data suggest the presence of a heat-labile antinutritive compound.

Key words: Amaranth grain, rat growth test, net protein utilisation, protein quality, heat treatment, antinutritive factor


Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 46 (1), pp. 61–-70 (1998)

ASSESSMENT OF NUTRITIONAL ADEQUACY OF THE PROTEIN IN DOG FOODS BY TRIALS ON GROWING RATS

M. Hegedűs1, S. Fekete1, L. Solti2, Emese Andrásofszky1 and L. Pallós3

1Department of Animal Breeding and Nutrition and 2Department of Obstetrics,
University of Veterinary Science, H–1400 Budapest, P.O. Box 2, Hungary;
3Department of Animal Physiology, University of Agricultural Science,
H–2103 Gödöllő, Páter K. u. 1, Hungary

(Received September 15, 1997; accepted October 22, 1997)

In order to offer methods for assessing the protein quality of dog foods, eight commercial dry-type complete dog foods were analysed by in vitro chemical methods (crude protein, amino acid composition, in vitro pepsin digestibility) and rat growth trial (weight gain = WG, feed efficiency = FE, protein efficiency ratio = PER, net protein ratio = NPR, and net protein utilisation = NPU). Three individual samples were taken from each dog food and their homogenous mixture was used as an ingredient for the test diets fed to six rats per diet. All dog food samples were used as a single protein source in isonitrogenous (10% crude protein) and isoenergetic (ME = 14.9 MJ/kg) complete diets. Rat weight gains showed significant differences among most of the test diets as a consequence of the differences in protein quality of the dog food samples. The protein quality indices of the dog food products showed significant variations. The measured ranges of protein quality indices of the samples were as follows: WG = –5.4–21.4 g; FE = 0–0.25 g/g; PER = 0–2.54 g/g; NPR = 1.06–3.52 g/g; NPU = 19.93–65.93%. The limiting amino acid, the sum of essential amino acids and the chemical scores were calculated from gross amino acid composition. Tryptophan was the first limiting amino acids in all samples but one. Methionine was found to be the second limiting amino acid. The crude protein content of the samples showed no correlation with indices of protein quality, indicating that the declaration of crude protein is not a sufficient information to judge the protein quality of dog foods. The declaration of NPR, or NPU indices may be recommended for labelling the protein quality of premium-type dog foods.

Keywords: Dog foods, assessment of protein quality, methodological approach


Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 46 (1), pp. 71–-84 (1998)

ENDOCRINE AND REPRODUCTIVE CONSEQUENCES OF CERTAIN ENDOTOXIN-MEDIATED DISEASES IN FARM MAMMALS: A REVIEW

S. Jánosi1, G. Huszenicza2*, Margit Kulcsár2 and P. Kóródi2

1Central Veterinary Institute, H–1581 Budapest 146, P.O. Box 2, Hungary
and 2Department and Clinic for Obstetrics and Reproduction,
University of Veterinary Medicine, H–1400 Budapest, P.O. Box 2, Hungary

(Received August 4, 1997; accepted September 10, 1997)

After giving an overview of the general pathology of endotoxin-mediated diseases, the authors summarise the endotoxin-induced endocrine changes and their clinical consequences, with particular regard to reproduction. The consequences of temporary activation of the cyclooxygenase-2 and lipoxygenase enzyme systems resulting in elevated release of various prostanoids are discussed in cyclic and pregnant ruminants, sows and mares. The clinical failures attributable to increased glucocorticoid secretion as well as the endotoxin-induced changes in thyroid function and in peripheral level of some other hormones (prolactin, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1) are also reviewed.

Key words: Endotoxin, reproduction, mastitis, prostaglandins, cortisol, tumor necrosis factor, thyroid hormones, insulin-like growth factor 1

* Address for correspondence: G. Huszenicza, Department and Clinic for Obstetrics and Reproduction, University of Veterinary Science, H-1400 Budapest, P.O. Box 2, Hungary (Fax: 36-1-322-3401; e-mail: gyhuszen@ns.univet.hu)


Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 46 (1), pp. 85–-93 (1998)

THERAPEUTIC EFFICACY OF DOXYCYCLINE AGAINST EXPERIMENTAL PASTEURELLA MULTOCIDA INFECTION IN BROILER CHICKENS

G. Semjén1, T. Magyar2 and P. Laczay1

1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Veterinary Science,
P.O. Box 2, H–1400 Budapest, Hungary; 2Veterinary Medical Research Institute,
Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 18, H–1581 Budapest, Hungary

(Received November 18, 1997; accepted December 14, 1997)

The efficacy of doxycycline was investigated in two sets of experiments. In the first experiment 40, in the second experiment 60, hence altogether 100 five-week-old Ross broilers of both sexes were used. The birds were randomly allocated into groups (A and B in experiment 1; A, B and C in experiment 2) of 20 birds in each. All birds were infected intramuscularly with approx. 2 × 103 colony forming units of Pasteurella multocida strain X-73 (serotype A:1). Birds in groups A were non-medicated controls. Chickens in groups B were given doxycycline via the drinking water at a dose of 10 mg/kg body weight for 5 days, while group C was treated with chlortetracycline at a dose of 20 mg/kg body weight for 5 days. The trial lasted for 9 days, then the surviving chickens were sacrificed. Clinical symptoms, number of deaths, post mortem lesions and bacteriological findings were recorded using a special score system. Acute fowl cholera developed in broilers within a few hours after infection, as evidenced by the clinical symptoms, the high mortality rate (90% of the birds died within 4 days after infection), the pathological lesions and the recovery of P. multocida from the challenged birds. Doxycycline reduced the number of deaths (30% and 5% of birds died in experiments 1 and 2, respectively) and the severity of the clinical symptoms, and P. multocida could be re-isolated only from one of the survivors. In contrast, chlortetracycline slightly influenced the mortality; however, it delayed death and reduced the severity of clinical symptoms. These data indicate that doxycycline is highly effective for the treatment of experimental pasteurellosis in chickens.

Key words: Pasteurella multocida, fowl cholera, doxycycline, chicken


Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 46 (1), pp. 95–-100 (1998)

INFLUENCE OF ESCHERICHIA COLI ENDOTOXIN INDUCED FEVER ON THE PHARMACOKINETICS AND DOSAGE REGIMEN OF OXYTETRACYCLINE IN CROSS-BRED CALVES

R. P. Singh1, A. K. Srivastava2*, S. K. Sharma2 and D. C. Nauriyal1

1Department of Veterinary Medicine and 2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Veterinary Science, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana 141 004, India

(Received September 10, 1996; accepted November 13, 1997)

The pharmacokinetics and dosage regimen of oxytetracycline were determined in healthy and febrile cross-bred calves following its single intravenous administration (10 mg kg–1). Fever was induced by a single intravenous injection of E. coli endotoxin (1 mg kg–1 i.v.). The elimination half-life (t1 b ) and the apparent volume of distribution [vd(area)] were slightly increased in febrile calves, as compared to healthy animals. The values of t1b and Vd(area) were 3.22 ą 0.20 h and 0.49 ą 0.02 L. kg–1 in healthy calves and 4.06 ą 0.32 h and 0.70 ą 0.09 L kg–1, respectively, in febrile calves. An intravenous dosage regimen suitable for maintaining the minimum therapeutic plasma concentration of 3 2 ľg/ml in febrile animals would be 10 mg kg–1 repeated at 12-h intervals.

Key words: Pharmacokinetics, oxytetracycline, fever, calves

*Corresponding author


Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 46 (1), pp. 101–-109 (1998)

THE INFLUENCE OF REPRODUCTIVE STAGE ON THE SELENIUM STATUS OF SHEEP
IN A LOW-SELENIUM REGION

M. López Alonso, C. Castillo, M. Miranda, J. Hernández, I. Ayala and J. L. Benedito

Department of Animal Pathology, Veterinary Faculty of Lugo,
University of Santiago de Compostela, 27002 Lugo, Spain

(Received April 22, 1997; accepted June 16, 1997)

The selenium status of sheep was evaluated during the reproductive stage in a region of low selenium level. Serum selenium concentration, whole blood glutathione peroxidase activity (GSH-Px), which is a good indicator of protection against oxidative damage, as well as the activities of creatine kinase (CK) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), the plasma indicators of muscle damage, were evaluated in a group of ewes during gestation and lactation and in their lambs. The selenium requirements of ewes were found to increase during lactation. There were no differences in GSH-Px activity between the experimental and the control groups throughout the reproductive stage. In the second half of pregnancy GSH-Px activity was subnormal. In spite of this, no evidence of existing pathologic conditions associated with selenium deficiency was found, since the muscle markers CK and AST were within the normal range. In the same way, no distinct symptoms of nutritional myopathy were observed in the lambs, suggesting that the low selenium level found in the ewes did not cause alterations in their development.

Key words: Serum selenium, glutathione peroxidase, muscle enzymes, reproductive stage, sheep


Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 46 (1), pp. 111–-126 (1998)

PLASMA PROTEINS AND HAEMATOLOGICAL PARAMETERS IN FATTENING PIGS FED DIFFERENT SOURCES OF DIETARY ZINC

V. RUPIĆ1, Libuška IVANDIJA2, Svjetlana LUTEROTTI3, Miroslava DOMINIS-KRAMARIĆ2 and R. BOŽAC1

1Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Svetošimunska c. 25, 10000 Zagreb,
Croatia; 2PLIVA, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works, Research and Development,
Prilaz baruna Filipovića 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia; 3Faculty of Pharmacy and
Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, Ante Kovačića 1, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

(Received August 11, 1997; accepted November 17, 1997)

The effect of varying amounts and sources of dietary zinc on some blood parameters and the plasma protein ratios of fattening pigs was studied. During a 30-day pre-trial period, 42 pigs were depleted of Zn and divided into three groups of 14 animals each. During the 105-day experimental fattening period two experimental groups (T1–2) were repleted with dietary Zn in the form of inorganic salt (ZnSO4) or metallo-organic chelate (zinc methionate, ZnMET), while the control group (C) received no extra Zn. The supplements contained 84.3 and 40.9 mg Zn/kg diet, respectively. The nutritional effects of Zn were evaluated on the basis of red blood cell (RBC) count, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), haemoglobin (Hb) concentration, packed cell volume (PCV), white blood cell (WBC) and thrombocyte count, plasma total protein, albumin, and globulin concentrations, and albumin/globulin (A/G) ratio. During the parakeratosis period (days 28–56) both the basic feed (group C) and the diet enriched with 40.9 mg Zn/kg (as ZnMET) fed to group T2 pigs resulted in a lower red blood cell (RBC) count, Hb concentration and PCV than in group T1 fed a diet containing 84.3 mg Zn/kg (as ZnSO4). Dietary Zn of organic and inorganic origin had no effect on MCV and on the WBC and thrombocyte counts of fattening pigs. At the start of the parakeratosis period (day 28), group C pigs had significantly lower, and by its end (day 56) significantly higher plasma total protein and globulin concentrations than pigs of group T1. At the same time, no significant differences were observed in albumin concentration between group C and the two experimental groups. Throughout the trial, feed containing sufficient, and insufficient, quantities of Zn from various sources had no influence on blood plasma alpha and beta globulin concentrations. In the second part of the experiment (day 56) dietary Zn deficiency resulted in a significantly higher level of gamma globulin in group C pigs than in pigs given sufficient Zn of inorganic origin. While inorganic Zn increased some of the blood parameters, namely RBC count, Hb and possibly PCV, organic Zn seemed to be responsible for raising the proportion of plasma globulins.

Key words: Pigs, nutrition, haematological parameters, plasma proteins, zinc sulphate, zinc methionate


Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 46 (1), pp. 127–-134 (1998)

DOLPHIN MORBILLIVIRAL INFECTION FROM THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA DID NOT SPREAD INTO THE ADRIATIC SEA

H. GOMERČIĆ1, Đ. HUBER2, Vera GOMERČIĆ3, Darinka ŠKRTIĆ1, Ana GOMERČIĆ4
and Snježana VUKOVIĆ1

1Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, and 2Department of Biology,
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Heinzelova 55, Croatia; 3Pliva Research Institute, 10000 Zagreb, Šalata 2, Croatia; 4Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb,
Rooseveltov trg 6, Croatia

(Received June 23, 1997; accepted November 24, 1997)

In July of 1990, a mass mortality of striped dolphins due to morbillivirus infection had begun in the western Mediterranean. By 1992, the infection had spread to the eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea. Other dolphin species in the Mediterranean were not found to have died due to this infection, although it is possible for many species of marine mammals to be infected. In 1994, it was published that morbillivirus infection had caused Atlantic bottlenose dolphin mortality in the USA. Although striped dolphins are not residents of the Adriatic Sea, it was hypothesised that the infection could have spread from them to Adriatic bottlenose dolphins. From October 1990 through April 1997, 16 dolphin carcasses found along the Croatian Adriatic coast were examined. Tissues were examined by light microscopy for syncytia and inclusion bodies, histopathologic lesions characteristic of dolphin morbillivirus infection, and by detection of morbilliviral RNA by a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). No signs of morbillivirus infection were found in the examined animals. It was concluded that this infection had not spread to dolphins of the Adriatic Sea up until that date.

Key words: Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), morbillivirus, epizootic, survey, Adriatic Sea, Croatia