A Review of Lobomycosis (Lacazia loboi) and its Role as an Environmental Indicator

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

Second Degree Name

M.S. Marine Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Caryn Self-Sullivan

Second Advisor

Eduardo Veliz


Lobomycosis is an emerging infectious disease caused by the microorganism Lacazia loboi. It has been detected only in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and humans. Lacazia loboi is disputably classified in the Kingdom Fungi, due to four distinctly fungal characteristics: fungal stain detection, yeastlike morphology, DNA based probes, and ribosomal DNA characterization. Symptomatically it’s appearance is slightly different on dolphins and humans. Lacazia loboi cells are larger on bottlenose dolphins than in humans, leading to the hypothesis that the two species may be infected with variant strains. There is currently no satisfactory treatment for lobomycosis, although some treatment options that may relieve symptoms in humans. The presence of lobomycosis in dolphins is correlated with environmental stress, such as a decrease in salinity. Although reported in literature as endemic in the Indian River Lagoon, FL on dolphins, lobomycosis infections have been reported on both dolphins and humans in other regions of the United States, South and Central America, as well as in France. As such, it may endemic to specific environmental conditions, rather than to a specific location.

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