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1 July 1993 Epizootic Mortality of Free-living Green Turtles, Chelonia mydas, Due to Coccidiosis
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Abstract

At least 70 wild green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, died in the Moreton Bay area of southeast Queensland, Australia over 6 wk in spring 1991. Based on the necropsy of 24 turtles, there was a severe enteritis or encephalitis associated with Caryospora cheloniae, a coccidial pathogen previously recorded only in farm reared Ch. mydas hatchlings. Infection was characterized by the presence of coccidia in extra-intestinal lesions. Oocysts were observed to sporulate, after which sporozoites escaped into seawater to form a novel stellate configuration. We conclude that C. cheloniae is pathogenic for life stages other than hatchling Ch. mydas and that naturally-occurring coccidiosis is a significant disease of free-living Ch. mydas.

Gordon, Kelly, and Lester: Epizootic Mortality of Free-living Green Turtles, Chelonia mydas, Due to Coccidiosis
A. N. Gordon, W. R. Kelly, and R. J. G. Lester "Epizootic Mortality of Free-living Green Turtles, Chelonia mydas, Due to Coccidiosis," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 29(3), (1 July 1993). https://doi.org/10.7589/0090-3558-29.3.490
Received: 29 July 1992; Published: 1 July 1993
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