A Striped Dolphin of species Stenella coeruleoalba was stranded a few days before in an almost inaccessible area, near Trapalo village, on the Aegean island of Ikaria. The relatively young dolphin had severe injuries, caused during the stranding.
Marine biologists soon arrived on the scene and collected samples from the dolphin’s tissues, blood and various organs, and sent them to the School of Medicine, University of Crete, for microbiological, parasitological and toxicological tests. The collection of samples from the dead dolphin, although a difficult and unpleasant task, is expected to provide important information about the condition of Striped Dolphins in the Eastern Aegean Sea.
The marine experts concluded that the malnourished dolphin was suffering from bacterial or parasitic infection, probably from the pathogen Brucella that was found in similar samples from other cases of dead mammals in the Aegean marine environment.
According to recent studies, the pathogen Brucella possesses the ability not only to infect marine mammals, but also to transmit to various land species, including humans.