Chlamydiae are obligate intracellular bacteria that include pathogens of human and veterinary importance. Several reptiles were reported to host chlamydial agents, but pathogenicity in these animals still needs clarification. Given that only one report of chlamydiosis was described in sea turtles, and that chlamydiae might also be detected in hosts without clinical signs, the current study examined asymptomatic Mediterranean loggerhead sea turtles for the presence of chlamydial DNA. Twenty loggerhead sea turtles, rehabilitated at the Marine Turtle Research Centre (Portici, Italy), were examined collecting ocular-conjunctival, oropharyngeal and nasal swabs. Samples were processed through quantitative and conventional PCR analyses to identify Chlamydiales and Chlamydiaceae, with particular attention to C. pecorum, C. pneumoniae, C. psittaci, and C. trachomatis. Although it was not possible to determine the species of chlamydiae involved, the detection of chlamydial DNA from the collected samples suggests that these microorganisms might act as opportunistic pathogens, and underlines the role of sea turtles as potential carriers. This study highlights the presence of chlamydial agents in sea turtles, and encourages further research to fully characterize these microorganisms, in order to improve the management of the health and conservation of these endangered species, and prevent potential zoonotic implications.

Detection of Chlamydial {DNA} from Mediterranean Loggerhead Sea Turtles in Southern Italy

Antonino Pace
Primo
;
Luca Borrelli
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Ludovico Dipineto
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Alessandro Fioretti
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2022

Abstract

Chlamydiae are obligate intracellular bacteria that include pathogens of human and veterinary importance. Several reptiles were reported to host chlamydial agents, but pathogenicity in these animals still needs clarification. Given that only one report of chlamydiosis was described in sea turtles, and that chlamydiae might also be detected in hosts without clinical signs, the current study examined asymptomatic Mediterranean loggerhead sea turtles for the presence of chlamydial DNA. Twenty loggerhead sea turtles, rehabilitated at the Marine Turtle Research Centre (Portici, Italy), were examined collecting ocular-conjunctival, oropharyngeal and nasal swabs. Samples were processed through quantitative and conventional PCR analyses to identify Chlamydiales and Chlamydiaceae, with particular attention to C. pecorum, C. pneumoniae, C. psittaci, and C. trachomatis. Although it was not possible to determine the species of chlamydiae involved, the detection of chlamydial DNA from the collected samples suggests that these microorganisms might act as opportunistic pathogens, and underlines the role of sea turtles as potential carriers. This study highlights the presence of chlamydial agents in sea turtles, and encourages further research to fully characterize these microorganisms, in order to improve the management of the health and conservation of these endangered species, and prevent potential zoonotic implications.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/896437
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