This study screened reptiles presented to specialized veterinary practices in Poland for DNA and RNA of six pathogens and evaluated connections between infections and animal husbandry. Four clinics with veterinarians specialized in exotic animal medicine collected swabs from the soft palate, cloaca, and any lesions from patients during routine visits. All samples were screened for the presence of herpesvirus, adenovirus, ranavirus, and mycoplasma DNA. Snake samples were also screened for reptarenavirus and nidovirus RNA. Short questionnaires were filled out by the owners, including questions about the animal and its husbandry. Samples were collected from 254 animals; 107 (42.1%) tested positive for at least one pathogen. The most common agents detected were mycoplasma (29.1% positive) and adenoviruses (10.6%); no rana or reptarenaviruses were detected. Herpes and nidoviruses were each found in a few cases (2 and 13, respectively). Mycoplasmas were most often detected in Russian tortoises ( Testudo horsfieldii ; 88.9% positive) and green tree pythons ( Morelia viridis ; 76.9% positive). Adenoviruses were detected primarily in bearded dragons ( Pogona vitticeps , 35.2% positive). Nidoviruses were found only in pythons in the genera Python and Morelia . Herpesviruses were detected in green iguanas ( Iguana iguana ). There was no correlation between husbandry and mycoplasma or virus detection. While the detection of many of these pathogens corresponds to findings in other countries, several (high rates of mycoplasma positive snakes and herpesvirus positive iguanas) were surprising and may reflect specific disease dynamics within Poland.
Detection of infectious agents in samples from reptiles presented at veterinary clinics in Poland
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Joanna Pasterny, Lukasz Skomorucha, Kacper Stanicki, Rachel E. Marschang; Detection of infectious agents in samples from reptiles presented at veterinary clinics in Poland. Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/JHMS 12-2020
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