Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK



Short Communication

Intraerythrocytic inclusion bodies in the loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta from Madeira


J.C.  Eiras a1, T.  Dellinger a2, A.J.  Davies a4, G.  Costa a3 and A.P.  Alves de Matos a5
a1 Departamento de Zoologia e Antropologia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, 4099-002 Porto, Portugal, E-mail: jceiras@fc.up.pt
a2 Centro de Ciências Biológicas e Geológicas, Universidade da Madeira, Edifício da Penteada, 9000-399 Funchal, Portugal, E-mail: dellinger@dragoeiro.uma.pt
a3 Centro de Ciências Biológicas e Geológicas, Universidade da Madeira, Edifício da Penteada, 9000-399 Funchal, Portugal, E-mail: costag@dragoeiro.uma.pt
a4 School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Kingston, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 2EE, UK, E-mail: ajdavies.russell@kingston.ac.uk
a5 Departamento de Anatomia Patológica, Hospital Curry Cabral, Lisboa, Portugal, E-mail: apmatos@ip.pt

Abstract

Intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies were detected in the mature red blood cells of twenty juvenile loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, captured in Madeira. The bodies were mostly single, round to oval, frequently irregular in outline, and their diameter varied from 0.5 to 2.0 μm. Most bodies were associated with small granular areas, often in the form of a tail or projection. In some cells, only granular areas were apparent. The nuclei of most erythrocytes were irregular in outline but degeneration of red blood cells was not observed. The identity of these intraerythrocytic structures is not clear but they may be viral or rickettsial in nature.

(Received February 8 2000)
(Accepted May 19 2000)