HomePhilippine Journal of Veterinary Medicinevol. 45 no. 1 (2008)

Aspergillosis in a Melon-Headed Whale (Peponocephala electra)

Christopher S. Torno | Mariel C. Buccat | Joseph S. Masangkay

Discipline: Veterinary Medicine



A 29-kg male Melon-Headed Whale (Peponocephala electra) calf was stranded in a coastal village in Morong, Bataan, Philippines on 8 November 2005. The animal was washed ashore after few attempts by the nearby residents to bring it back to deeper waters. The animal was emaciated, lethargic, and had·weak and shallow respirations. It was brought to a marine mammal quarantine facility where it died after 13 days of treatment for suspected respiratory disease and emaciation. Suppurative bronchopneumonia, alveolar and subplueral edema; and fibrinous bronchitis and bronchiolitis were the main pneumonic lesions. Fungal hyphae were also observed within these pneumonic lesions. The morphology of the fungal organism obtained directly from the lesions and cultures on Saboraud's Dextrose Agar resembled Aspergillus fumigatus. Immunosuppression was strongly suspected to have predisposed the animal to aspergillosis.