Cetacean Host-Pathogen Interaction(s): Critical Knowledge Gaps. Front. Immunol. 9:2815. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.02815
Giovanni Di Guardo, Cinzia Centelleghe and Sandro Mazzariol
Within the broad range of viral and non-viral pathogens infecting cetaceans, CetaceanMorbillivirus (CeMV),Herpesvirus (HV), Brucella ceti, and Toxoplasma gondii are of special concern, due to their
impact(s) on the health and conservation of free-ranging cetacean populations worldwide. The
most â€œparadigmaticâ€ example in this direction is represented by CeMV, which throughout the last
3 decades has caused more than 10 mass mortality outbreaks among different cetacean species and
populations across the globe. There are still a number of critical â€œknowledge gapsâ€ regarding â€œcetacean host(s)-pathogen(s) interaction(s),â€ These â€œknowledge-deficient areasâ€ may be identified as follows: (1) characterization of the cell receptor(s) allowing infection; (2) interaction(s) and effects of chemical pollutants on the expression levels of the aforementioned cell receptors; (3) pathogenetic evolution of the concerned infections in T helper 1 (Th1)-dominant versus (vs.) Th2-dominant cetacean individuals; (4) effects of pregnancy-associated immune status on the infectious potential of the herein dealt pathogens; (5) usefulness of cetaceans and their pathogens as models for human disease.
This article addresses each of the aforementioned knowledge gaps.