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Vet Microbiol. 2008 Sep 18;131(1-2):115-22. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.03.003. Epub 2008 Mar 14.

Characterization of an erythrocytic virus in the family Iridoviridae from a peninsula ribbon snake (Thamnophis sauritus sackenii).

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Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.


A wild peninsula ribbon snake (Thamnophis sauritus sackenii) in Florida was found to have hypochromic erythrocytes containing two different types of inclusions: purple granular inclusions, and pale orange or pink crystalloid inclusions that were round, oval, rectangular, or hexagonal in shape. Transmission electron microscopy revealed hexagonal or pleomorphic, homogenous inclusions and enveloped particles morphologically consistent with a member of the Iridoviridae. Histopathology of the animal revealed necrotizing hepatitis consistent with sepsis. Consensus PCR was used to amplify a 628-bp region of iridoviral DNA-dependent DNA polymerase. Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis found that this virus was distinct from other known iridoviral genera and species, and may represent a novel genus and species.

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