The isolation and characterization of two bacterial species, Streptococcus agalactiae and Lactococcus garvieae, previously unreported in wild marine mammals are described from a freshly dead bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, from Kuwait Bay, Kuwait, in September 2001. Conventional and rapid identification systems were used to determine that isolates from muscle and kidney were S. agalactiae and L. garvieae, respectively. The isolates were gram-positive, catalase-negative, oxidase-negative, nonhemolytic cocci. The S. agalactiae was serotyped to group antigen B, whereas the L. garvieae could not be assigned to any serogroup. These Kuwait isolates displayed considerable homogeneity with corresponding American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) type isolates. Although the dolphin S. agalactiae isolate was nonhemolytic, it was biochemically similar to S. agalactiae isolated from mullet sampled in the concurrent Kuwait Bay fish kill. Some biochemical heterogeneity was observed between the dolphin isolates and corresponding mammalian ATCC type isolates, especially with Voges Proskauer, alaninephenylanaline-proline arylamidase, and alpha-galactosidase tests. Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, experimentally infected with the dolphin S. agalactiae and L. garvieae isolates experienced 90% and 0% mortalities, respectively. This is the first isolation of S. agalactiae and L. garvieae from a wild marine mammal, and the microbial characteristics established here provide pertinent information for the future isolation of these bacteria.
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Vol. 42 • No. 3