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Volume 28, Number 12—December 2022

Hepatitis E Virus Infections in Free-Ranging and Captive Cetaceans, Spain, 2011–2022

Javier Caballero-Gómez, Antonio Rivero-JuarezComments to Author , Adrián Beato-Benítez, Carolina Fernández-Maldonado, Mariano Domingo, Daniel García-Párraga, Antonio Fernández, Eva Sierra, Rainer G. Ulrich, Eva Martínez-Nevado, Cecilia Sierra-Arqueros, Rocío Canales-Merino, Antonio Rivero, and Ignacio García-Bocanegra
Author affiliations: Maimonides Institute for Biomedical Research of Cordoba, Reina Sofía University Hospital, University of Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain (J. Caballero-Gómez, A. Rivero-Juarez, A. Rivero); (J. Caballero-Gómez, A. Rivero-Juarez, A. Rivero, I. García-Bocanegra); GISAZ-ENZOEM, University of Córdoba, Córdoba (J. Caballero-Gómez, A. Beato-Benítez, I. García-Bocanegra); CIBERINFEC, Carlos III Health Institute, Madrid, Spain Seashore Environment and Fauna, Cádiz, Spain (C. Fernández-Maldonado); Andalusian Marine Environment Management Center, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Cádiz, Spain (C. Fernández-Maldonado); Veterinary Pathology Diagnostic Service, Autonomous University of Barcelona-Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain (M. Domingo); Oceanographic Foundation of the Valencian Community and Avanqua Oceanographic, Valencia, Spain (D. García-Párraga); Atlantic Cetacean Research Center, Institute of Animal Health, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Trasmontaña, Las Palmas, Spain (A. Fernández, E. Sierra); Federal Research Institute for Animal Health/German Center for Infection Research, Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany (R.G. Ulrich); Madrid Zoo, Madrid, Spain (E. Martínez-Nevado); Selwo Marina, Málaga, Spain (C. Sierra-Arqueros); Mundomar Benidorm, Alicante, Spain (R. Canales-Merino).

Main Article

Table 1

Distribution of hepatitis E virus seroprevalence in free-ranging and captive cetacean populations in Spain and results of bivariate analysis*

Variable Categories Free-ranging
No. positive/no. analyzed (% positive)† p value No. positive/no. analyzed (% positive)† p value
Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis) 1/1 (100.0) 0.191

NA 0.323
Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) NA 0/2 (0.0)
Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) 0/2 (0.0) 21/55 (38.2)
Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) 1/2 (50.0) NA
Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) 1/1 (100.0) NA
Killer whale (Orcinus orca) NA 4/7 (57.1)
Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus) 3/8 (37.5) NA
Southern long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas) 0/1 (0.0) NA
Striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba)
38/57 (66.7)
Adult 33/45 (73.3) 0.006

20/47 (42.6) 0.406
11/27 (40.7)
4/12 (33.3)
Sex F 25/39 (64.1) 0.373 12/33 (36.4) 0.485
M 19/33 (57.6) 12/30 (40.0)

*Analyses by pearson’s χ2 or Fisher exact test. NA, not applicable. †Animals with missing information excluded. ‡Samples from harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) were also included in the study but were only tested by PCR. §Age was classified using the mean reproductive age of each species.

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Page created: October 24, 2022
Page updated: November 21, 2022
Page reviewed: November 21, 2022
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