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Vet Microbiol. 2016 Jan 15;182:213-22. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2015.11.024. Epub 2015 Nov 22.

Virus distribution and detection in corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) after experimental infection with three different ferlavirus strains.

Author information

1
Clinic for Birds and Reptiles, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken 17, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. Electronic address: pees@vogelklinik.uni-leipzig.de.
2
Clinic for Birds and Reptiles, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken 17, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. Electronic address: annkatrin.neul@vogelklinik.uni-leipzig.de.
3
Institute of Pathology, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken 33, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. Electronic address: kristin.mueller@vetmed.uni-leipzig.de.
4
Clinic for Birds and Reptiles, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken 17, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. Electronic address: vschmidt@vogelklinik.uni-leipzig.de.
5
Institute of Animal Hygiene and Veterinary Public Health, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken 33, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. Electronic address: truyen@vmf.uni-leipzig.de.
6
Institute of Animal Hygiene and Veterinary Public Health, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken 33, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. Electronic address: leinecker@vetmed.uni-leipzig.de.
7
Laboklin, Steubenstraße 4, 97688 Bad Kissingen, Germany. Electronic address: rachel.marschang@googlemail.com.

Abstract

Ferlaviruses are important pathogens of snakes. However, factors influencing the pathogenicity of individual isolates as well as optimal protocols for virus detection in tissues of infected snakes have been insufficiently studied. The objectives of this study were to compare virus detection using previously described PCR and cell culture protocols following infection with three genetically distinct ferlaviruses in corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) as a model species. Groups of 12 corn snakes were each inoculated intratracheally with a genogroup A, B, or C ferlavirus. Tracheal washes and cloacal swabs were tested for virus shedding on days 16 and 28. Three animals were each euthanized on days 4, 16, 28, and 49. Beside immunohistochemistry of lung tissue, several organs (lung, intestine, pancreas, kidney, brain) were tested for the presence of ferlavirus. Distinct differences were noted in the pathogenicity of the three viruses, with a genotype B isolate causing the greatest pathology. PCR was more sensitive in comparison to cell culture, but results varied depending on the tissues. Ferlaviruses spread rapidly into the tissues, including the brain. Overall average detection rate was 72%, and was highest on day 16. There were differences between the groups, with the most virulent strain causing 100% positive samples at the end of the study. Some snakes were able to clear the infection. Shedding via cloaca was seen only on day 28. For ante-mortem sampling, a tracheal wash sample is recommended, for post mortem diagnosis, a pooled organ sample should be tested.

KEYWORDS:

Cell culture; Detection; Experimental infection; PCR; Paramyxovirus; Reptile

PMID:
26711050
DOI:
10.1016/j.vetmic.2015.11.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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