Fibropapillomatosis continues to be an important cause of morbidity and mortality in sea turtles, particularly in Chelonia mydas. Turtles with this debilitating herpesvirus disease usually present with multiple, large, and ulcerated cutaneous masses that compromise both locomotion and feeding. There are very few available therapeutic strategies, with surgical excision being the most common. However, this surgical excision is associated with a high rate of local disease recurrence and secondary infections. Electrochemotherapy has been used for the treatment of epithelial neoplasm in several animal species. This technique is based on a combination of chemotherapy, usually with bleomycin or cisplatin, and electroporation. It consists of a series of short, high-voltage electric pulses that lead to increased membrane permeability and more efficient transport of antineoplastic drugs through the cellular membrane. Here, two C. mydas fibropapillomas were treated with a standard electrochemotherapy protocol using intralesional bleomycin sulfate injections followed by the application of electric pulses. Two sessions were performed, with a 33-day interval between sessions. Complete regression of lesions occurred without side effects or complications in each animal. There was no sign of local recurrence, even 1 yr after the end of treatment. Electrochemotherapy may be an effective therapeutic alternative for sea turtles with fibropapillomas.
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