Sea Turtle with tumors

NEW STUDY: Scientists Investigate Green Sea Turtle Tumor Disease

Environmental Stressors Can Trigger Tumors After Herpesvirus Infection

A new epidemiological study of endangered juvenile green sea turtles in eastern Brazil suggests that factors such as water temperature, salinity and proximity to environmental stressors could trigger the development of a tumor disease associated with a herpesvirus.

The University of California, Davis, study, which was published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, also found that the distribution of the tumors from fibropapillomatosis, or FP, can provide clues to better understanding the disease.

“FP is one of those things that has troubled scientists for a long time,” said senior author Marcela Uhart, a wildlife veterinarian with the One Health Institute at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “It could be that where the tumors show up on the turtle’s body is not as random as we used to think.”

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Media Contacts

  • Marcela Uhart, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine,
  • Emily C. Dooley, UC Davis News and Media Relations, 530-650-5807,
  • Kat Kerlin, UC Davis News and Media Relations, 530-750-9195,