Pathological evaluation of fibropapillomatosis in green sea turtles
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Fibropapillomatosis is a neoplastic disease of marine turtles characterized by cutaneous fibropapillomas and occasionally internal fibromas. The prevalence of disease has been increasing. Etiologically a herpesvirus has been incriminated but isolation efforts to date have failed. To explore and update current diagnostic and pathological knowledge of this disease, multiple laboratory and field analyses were used, including hematology, blood chemistry, histopathology and in-situ hybridization on blood and tumors collected from affected and non-affected animals. Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) were captured and subsequently released in a location in the Caribbean on the ease side of Puerto Rico, islands of Culebra and Culebrita. This study contributes to further understanding of the disease, through comparison of hematology and biochemical parameters in affected and non-affected turtles and evaluation of tumor characteristics and viral involvement using in situ hybridization.