Marine turtles life cycle it’s very complex, with long generational

times and late maturing, alternating between reproduction areas and
feeding and/or development areas, fnding within the last areas,
individuals from diferent nesting beaches (Lpe!"Mendilaharsu et al#,
(he )estern *outh +tlantic (+*,'is an area of high activity for these
turtles (-on!.le! /arman et al#, $%00' and particularly the 1ruguayan
coast is an important feeding and development area and migration
corridor between areas of +*, for 2uveniles of C. mydas (3strades et
al#, $%%4'#
5iferent diseases afecting sea turtles directly in6uence at their
survival# 7ecently, a neoplastic disease called fbropapillomatosis, it
has become important# +nother of the most common diseases of sea
turtles is about infestation by parasites# (hese marine reptiles are
afected by a variety of endo"parasites8 however, are only parasiti!ed
by a few ecto"parasites species li9e, for example, some species
belonging to the genus Ozobranchus (*antoro e Mattiucci, $%%:'#
+re commonly reported the species Ozobranchus branchiatus and
Ozobranchus margoi# ;arasitism by these organisms can 9ill their host
by anemia and s9in lesions (;eralta, $%%<'# =urthermore, studies
implicate this ecto"parasitas as possibles mechanical vectors of
transmission of the sea turtle’s herpes virus (-reenblatt, et al# $%%>'#
?owever, little is 9nown about that parasite"host relationship (Mc
-owin, et al# $%00'# @ecause the exposed above, the aims of this
research areA
(0' Bdentify which species of marine leeches parasite 2uveniles of
Chelonia mydas at the /oastal"Marine ;rotected +rea of /erro Cerde
and La /oronilla Bslands, 1ruguay8
($' 5etermine species relative abundance8
(<' +naly!e possible inter"specifc interactions between the leeches
(>' +naly!e the relationship between the occurrence of these
ectoparasites and tumors on C. mydas.
Study area (Figure 1)
4 campaigns D Eanuary to +pril, from $%%4 to $%0%
Sampled individuals " Bntentional capture and stranded
Features relieved
 7etired
 ;reserved in formalin >F
 Bdentifed (stereoscopic microscope " *awyer, 0:4G'
 )eight (Hg'
 /urved carapace length (L//'
 /urved carapace straight (+//'
 (umor presence and epibionts
Ozobranchus (&EN'#ES( 1)*1) ON +U,EN#LE Chelonia
mydas #N CERRO ,ER-E( URU%U".
-ata analyses
 7elative abundance from registered species D formula de
&agurran( 1*/*A !i0 ni12ni
 +nalysis of possible interspecifc interaction between parasite
species that co"occur on C. mydas D correlations between the
abundance of each parasite specie on the same host D Spearman
 Bntensity of infestation by one specie of leech in relation to the
presence or absence of the other specie D Fisher test3
 7elationship between the prevalence of tumors and the occurrence
of individuals of genus Ozobranchus D logistic regression models #
441 5uvenile marine turtles 67 C. mydas (a8le 1) – 434*9 leeches : 1;< individuals
c6uldn=t 8een identi>ed
Negative c6rrelati6n (Spearman c6e?cient 0:@3;/9<)*1 (pA @(@1) (Figure ;)
 ;arasites turtles with parasites intensity higher than G% parasites of O. margoi present none or a few
individuals of O. branchiatus (=isher test, pI%,%0' ((able $'
 (o lower intensity of two parasites species, both co"occurred over the same host
(he body of sea turtles is the habitat of these leeches and
competition between species on the same host could in6uence
various aspects of ftness of parasites# +s can be seen, there is an
approximate minimum number of parasites in which both species
of leeches exclude each other completely or partially#
Figure ; D O. branchiatus intensity versus O. margoi intensity
on C. mydas 2uvenile individuals#
N6 signi>cant relati6nship 8etBeen the 6ccurrence 67 tum6rs and the 6ccurrence 67
parasites 67 the genus Ozobranchus Bas 76und3
#t Bas 76und a signi>cant relati6nship 8etBeen the siCe 67 turtles (LCC) and the 6ccurrence 67
parasites (pA@(@1) (ta8le ;)
a8le ; D -enerali!ed linear model (ML-' using logistic regression, describing factors associated with
the prevalence of parasitism of all leeches on C. mydas 2uveniles#
NO"D *3J *tandard error8 ;J p value8 L//J /urved carapace length8 Mes (monthJ parasitism
variation from Eanuary to +pril for each campaign#
O. branchiatus frst record to this region
(his specie has a cosmopolitan distribution that
depends on its host, which has migratory behavior,
which allows dispersed over a wide geographic range#
@ecause migratory connectivity for C. mydas recorded
between 1ruguay and @ra!il, where was already
recorded Ozobranchus branchiatus, it is considered
that the alleged absence of this specie in 1ruguay is
because few studies on leeches in this region#
Baptistotte, C. 2007. Caracterização espacial e temporal da fibropapilomatose em tartarugas marinhas da costa brasileira. PhD dissertação, ni!ersidade de "ão Paulo, Piracicaba, Brazil.
Beldomenico, P.#., e #. Begon. 200$. Disease spread, susceptibilit% and infection intensit%& !icious circles' Trends in Ecology and Evolution 2( )*+& 2*, 27.
Christoffersen, #.-. 200.. /Catalogue of the Piscicolidae , 0zobranchidae , and /rh%nchobdellida )/nnelida , Clitellata , 1irudinea+ from "outh /merica. Neotropical Biology and Conservation. 2)april+&2$34..
5strades, /., #.6. Caraccio, 7. "carabino, e 1. Ca%maris. 2007. Presencia de la tortuga Care% )Eretmochelys imbricata+ en aguas urugua%as. 888 9ornadas de Conser!aci:n e 8n!estigaci:n de ;ortugas #arinas en el /tl<ntico "ur 0ccidental. -ibro de =es>menes. pp. (?.
7redensborg, B.-., e =. Poulin. 200(. -ar!al helminths in intermediate hosts& does competition earl% in life determine the fitness of adult parasites' International Journal for Parasitology. 2(& *0?*,*070.
@onz<lez Carman A., B.C. /l!arez., -. Prosdocimi, #.C. 8nchaurraga, =.7. Dellacasa, /. 7aiella, C. 5cheniCue, =. @onz<lez, 9. /ndreDuE, 1.F. #ianzan, C. Campagna e D./. /lbareda. 20**. /rgentinian coastal Gaters& /temperate habitat for three species of threatened sea turtles. Marine
Biology Research, 7& (003(0..
@reenblatt =.9., ;.#. ForE, @.1. Balazs, C./. "utton, =.6. Case%, e 9.F. Case%a. 2004. ;he !obranchus leech is a candidate mechanical !ector for the fibropapilloma3associated turtle herpes!irus found latentl% infecting sEin tumors on 1aGaiian green turtles ) Chelonia mydas+. "irology,
22*& *0*3**0.
-:pez3#endilaharsu #., /. 5strades, #. -. Caraccio, A. Cal!o, #. 1ernandez e A. Huirici. 200?. BiologIa, ecologIa % etologIa de las tortugas marinas en la zona costera urugua%a. Bases para la conser!aci:n % el maneDo de la costa urugua%a. "ida #ilvestre $ruguay, #onte!ideo, pp 2473
#c @oGin, /.5.J ;.#. ;ruongJ /.#. CorbettJ D./. Bagle%J -.#. 5hrhart,J #.9. BresetteJ ".;. Feege e D. ClarE. 20**. @enetic barcoding of marine leeches )!obranchus spp.+ from 7lorida sea turtles and their di!ergence in host specificit%. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. **&
Peralta /.".-., 2002. 0corrKncia do parasitismo em Chelonia mydas e Caretta caretta );estudines, Cheloniidae+ por !obranchus branchiatus e % margoi )1irudinea, 0zobranchidae+ no litoral norte de "ão Paulo. Proceedings of the &'th Bra!ilian Congress of "eterinary Medicine,
Aolume *.
= De!elopment Core ;eam )200.+. =& /language and en!ironment for statistical computing. = 7oundation for "tatistical Computing, Aienna, /ustria. 8"B6 23$000(*30730, =- http&
=inguelet =./., *$.*. -os 1irudineos del #useo de 1istoria 6atural de #onte!ideo. Comunicaciones (oologicas del Museo de )istoria Natural de Montevideo, nM *4?, Aolumen N8, p& *32$.
"antoro #. e ". #attiucci. 200$. "ea ;urtle Parasites. /tlantic. pp& (073(*$.
"aG%er =.;., -aGler /.=., 0!ersrteet =.#. *$7(. #arine -eeches of the 5astern nited "tates and the @ulf of #eOico Gith a Ee% to the species. Journal of Natural )istory. $& ?22 , ??7.
María Silvina Bevilacqua
1; Luciana Alonso2 y Pablo M. Beldomenico3, 4,
* , 7ac. de 1umanidades % Ciencias, ni!. 6acional del -itoral, C, P. 5l Pozo sLn. "anta 7e, /rgentina. 53mail& mariasilvinabevilacqua!"
2 3 BarumbP, /!da. @ral =i!era 224(, CP **?00, #onte!ideo.
2 , 7ac. de Ciencias Aeterinarias, ni!ersidad 6acional del -itoral )7CA36-+, =. P. Breder 2.0(, 5speranza, "anta 7e, /rgentina.
4 3 ConseDo 6acional de 8n!estigaciones CientIficas % ;Pcnicas, Buenos /ires, /rgentina.
( 3 @lobal 1ealth Program, Fildlife Conser!ation "ociet%, BronO, 6Q, "/.
he a8sence 67 tum6rs in turtles Bith smaller siCe( match the in76rmati6n rec6rded 76r 6ther areas 67 7eeding and devel6pment 67
5uveniles C. mydas( l6cated in the EraCilian c6ast (Eaptist6tte( <@@))3
"cc6rding t6 Eaptist6tte (<@@))( the a8sence 67 tum6rs in turtles siCes under /@ cm( c6uld 8e ass6ciated t6 the vect6r 67
transmissi6n 67 the disease is distri8uted in c6astal areas3 he l6nger residence time 67 larger turtles in neritic areas( increase
the eFp6sure time Bith this vect6r( Bhich c6uld eFplain the results 76und in this B6rG3
(able 0 D *tatistics of turtles sampled in the
+/M; /erro Cerde e Bslas de La /oronilla during
the sampling period#
K,(3A n J number of turtles measured and/or
weighed, L J mean, 5* J standard deviation,
/C (F' J coeMcient of variation, M+L J
maximum value, MBK J minimum value MBK#
O. branchiatus (Relative a8undance 0
@(;/H n0 <349;)
O. margoi present a greater ability to infect than O.
branchiatus# (eorically, O. margoi has a preference for Caretta
caretta sea turtle specie as host, but this specie has also been
recorded in association with other species of sea turtles, as well
as other taxa# (his would indicate a greater ability of O. margoi
compared O. branchiatus to parasiti!e, which would explain their
greater abundance in he environment
=urthermore, according to the results of this study, O.
margoi shows greater dominance over O. branchiatus,
since at high intensities of O. margoi individuals on a host,
the presence of O. branchiatus is inhibited, whereas at
high intensities of O. branchiatus, moderate amounts were
allowed for O. margoi# (his could explain the fact that,
unli9e O. branchiatus, O. margoi parasite successfully
other host besides C. mydas#
O. margoi (Relative a8undance
0@(4<H n043@4<)
=igure $ " Bndividuals of Ozobranchus branchiatus and O. margoi
registrations on individuals of Chelonia mydas from +/M; the /erro
Cerde e Bslas de La /oronilla, 1ruguay#
    O. margoi
    "8sence !resence
#ntensity L6B GO >G
O. Branchiatus $igh G <
Fisher test : p0 1
    O. branchiatus
  "8sence !resence
#ntensity L6B $% 4:
O. margoi $igh 0% $
Fisher test : !0 @(@@@@;
a8le < D $x$ contingency table, where the presence or absence of one
of the species of the genus Ozobranchus relative intensity, high or low,
the other related species#
=igure 0 D *tudy areaA Marine ;rotected
+rea P/erro Cerde e Bslas de La
/oronillaQ, 1ruguay #