6th World Congress on Control and Prevention of HIV/AIDS, STDs & STIs
National University of La Plata
Title: Tuberculosis in marine mammals: Is it an emerging disease?
Biography: Juan Pablo Loureiro
The rehabilitation center of Mundo Marino´s Foundation attended 2008 marine mammals, founded on the northern coast of Buenos Aires province (36° 22'S/56° 44' W to 37° 15'S/56° 58 W) from 1987 to date. Among the most frequently attended marine mammals there were: 1315/2008 (65, 49%) South American sea lions (Arctocephalus australis); 113/2008 (6, 59%) sub-Antarctic sea lions (Arctocephalus tropicalis) and 159/2008 (9, 27%) South American fur seals (Otaria flavescens). In 1983, the necropsy of an A. australis showed macroscopic lesions compatible with tuberculosis and this finding was the starting of a research project on this disease. On February 27, 1989, an adult female A. australis, weighing 40 kg, was rescued with signs of dyspnea, weakness, permanent ventral recumbency and poor physical condition. Despite medical care the animal died. Necropsy showed lung and lymphatic lesions compatible with tuberculosis. Bacteriological cultures and molecular biology of samples were collected and we could identify a new member of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex: named Mycobacterium pinnipedii. The 2.17% of pinnipeds admitted into the rehabilitation center were diagnosed with tuberculosis. Isolates of mycobacteria strains from sea lions have shown to have in vitro sensitivity to the tuberculostatic drugs isoniazid, streptomycin, rifampin, ethambutol and paraminosalicylic acid. As the diagnosis of the diseases of the animals admitted to the rehabilitation center was being perfected, undescribed diseases were found. This situation makes it difficult to determine if they are emerging diseases or they already existed in nature.