Examinations on gastrointestinal parasites

for evaluation purpose of animal health and occurrence of parasites, e.g of zoonotic and pathogene infections, of free-living Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus).

The present study represents the first report on the gastrointestinal parasite fauna of free-living and alive Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) within waters of the Red Sea, Egypt. In total 94 individual faecal samples of bottlenose dolphins were collected during several diving expeditions within their natural habitats. Using classical parasitological techniques, such as SAF-method, carbol-fuchsin stained faecal smears, coproantigen-ELISA, PCR and macroscopic analyses, the study revealed infections with 21 different parasite species belonging to protozoans and metazoans with some of them bearing zoonotic potential.

Additionally we genetically identified adult nematode worms in individual dolphin vomitus samples. Overall, these parasitological findings include ten new host records for T. aduncus. The present results may be used as a baseline for future monitoring studies targeting the impact of climate or other environmental changes on dolphin’s health conditions and therefore contribute to the protection of these marine mammals.

S. Kleinertz ¹, C. Hermosilla ¹, A. Ziltener ², S. Kreicker ², J. Hirzmann ¹, F. Abdel-Ghaffar ³, A. Taubert ¹

¹ Institute of Parasitology, Justus Liebig University Giessen, D-35392 Giessen, Germany
² Anthropological Institute and Museum, University of Zurich, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
³ Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Corresponding author:
Dr. Sonja Kleinertz
Institut für Parasitologie, Justus Liebig Universität Gießen
Rudolf-Buchheim Straße 2, D-35392 Gießen