Intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies were detected in the mature red blood cells of twenty juvenile loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, captured in Madeira. The bodies were mostly single, round to oval, frequently irregular in outline, and their diameter varied from 0.5 to 2.0 μm. Most bodies were associated with small granular areas, often in the form of a tail or projection. In some cells, only granular areas were apparent. The nuclei of most erythrocytes were irregular in outline but degeneration of red blood cells was not observed. The identity of these intraerythrocytic structures is not clear but they may be viral or rickettsial in nature.
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