Tropical Fungus Range Expands into Northern Waters
In August 2008, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin was found dead on the North Carolina coast, its skin cracked and ulcerated with an alarming growth of gray and white nodules.
This dolphin was confirmed as having lobomycosis, the first confirmed case in North Carolina waters of this chronic fungal skin infection.
Reports of this type of infection in both humans and dolphins are relatively common in the warmer coastal waters of South America. Cases of lobomycosis have also turned up in waters off both east and west coasts of southern Florida and the Texas Gulf Coast.
Now, however, the range of the fungus that causes the lobomycosis infection appears to be expanding northward.
See also: Making Waves podcast: April 15, 2009 and Northward Creep of Tropical Disease Another Consequence of Climate Change?