Volume 48/Number 1/Abstract 09
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Acta Parasitologica, Vol.48, No. 1, 2003, 60-63
Agnieszka Kijewska (1), Zbigniew Jankowski (2), Iwona Kuklik (3) and Jerzy Rokicki (1)* - Pathological changes in the auditory organs of the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena, L.) associated with Stenurus minor (Kühn, 1829)
(1) Department of Invertebrate Zoology, University of Gdansk, Al. Pilsudskiego 46, 81-378 Gdynia; (2) Institute of Forensic Medicine, Medical University of Gdansk, Debinki Street 7, 80-342 Gdansk; (3) Institute of Oceanography, Hel Marine Laboratory, University of Gdansk, 9 Morska Street, 84-150 Hel; Poland
*Corresponding author: rokicki@univ.gda.pl

The problem of echo disruption has been frequently noted by authors who have studied parasites of harbor porpoise. Six harbor porpoises were examined macroscopically and microscopically for the occurrence of Stenurus minor. The present investigation confirmed earlier observations that this nematode may probably cause auditory malfunction, as there were changes to the auditory nerves of the cochlea and middle ear in consequence of chronic or acute inflammation with parasitic infection in five animals. Moreover, it can be stated that damage caused by S. minor produced severe stress and pain, which, very likely, affected the animal behavior.

KEY WORDS: Stenurus minor, Nematoda, Phocoena phocoena, marine mammals, pathology, auditory organs

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