Bronchoscopic and serologic diagnosis of Aspergillus fumigatus pulmonary infection in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

J Zoo Wildl Med. 1998 Dec;29(4):451-5.


A 4-yr-old male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) developed an Aspergillus fumigatus pneumonia. Fungal elements were identified by cytology and microbiology from endoscopic bronchoalveolar lavage and brushings of a raised yellow endobronchial lesion. The results of qualitative immunodiffusion serology, a technique that identifies specific circulating antibodies to Aspergillus fumigatus, were suggestive of an active infection. The dolphin was treated with itraconazole for over 2 yr, which resulted in remission of clinical signs. Pneumonia caused by Aspergillus sp. accounts for the large majority of pulmonary mycoses in marine mammals. Bronchoscopy facilitated an early definitive diagnosis, accurate treatment, and remission.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate Combination / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Fungal / blood*
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aspergillosis / diagnosis
  • Aspergillosis / drug therapy
  • Aspergillosis / veterinary*
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / immunology*
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / isolation & purification
  • Biopsy / methods
  • Biopsy / veterinary
  • Bronchi / microbiology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / microbiology
  • Bronchoscopy / veterinary
  • Dolphins*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Itraconazole / therapeutic use
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / diagnosis
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / drug therapy
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / veterinary*
  • Male


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antibodies, Fungal
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Itraconazole
  • Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate Combination