Ranaviruses in Reptiles in Europe
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2014
Anke C. Stöhr1, MedVet, ZB Reptilien; Rachel E. Marschang1,2, PD DrMedVetHabil, DECZM (Herpetology), FTÄ Mikrobiologie, ZB Reptilien
1Fachgebiet für Umwelt und Tierhygiene, University of Hohenheim, Germany; 2Laboklin GmbH & Co. KG, Laboratory for Clinical Diagnostics, Germany


Ranaviruses are increasingly important pathogens of ectothermic vertebrates. Numerous disease outbreaks in amphibians have been documented all over the world, but with the exception of several cases of ranaviral disease in chelonians, infections in reptiles are rarely described. Diagnostic samples from a total of 890 reptiles (chelonians, lizards, snakes) were screened for the presence of ranaviruses by PCR and virus isolation over three years (2010–2013). In 2010, none of the examined animals (n=237) tested positive for the presence of ranavirus. In 2011, ranavirus was isolated from green striped tree dragons (Japalura splendida); all other samples (31 chelonians, 189 lizards, 68 snakes) tested negative. In 2012, ranavirus was detected by PCR in 4/77 tested snakes: a ball python (Python regius), two Indian pythons (P. molurus), and one Anaconda (Eunectes murinus). Seven of 63 examined lizards tested positive: an Asian glass lizard (Dopasia gracilis), a green anole (Anolis carolinensis), a green iguana (Iguana iguana), a bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), two sand lizards (Lacerta agilis), and a blue-spotted tree monitor (Varanus macraei). Six of 67 samples from chelonians (European pond turtle [Emys orbicularis], leopard tortoise [Stigmochelys pardalis], spur-thighed tortoise [T. graeca], Hermann’s tortoise [T. hermanni], and Horsfield’s tortoise [T. horsfieldii]) were also positive. In 2013, a ranavirus was found in 1/50 tested snakes (P. regius), in 1/35 lizards (bearded dragon), and in 3/71 chelonians (red-eared slider [Trachemys scripta elegans] and Hermann’s tortoise) by PCR. The increasing detection of ranaviruses in various reptilian species underlines their wide host range and the need for testing uncommon species.


Speaker Information
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Anke C. Stöhr, MedVet, ZB Reptilien
Fachgebiet für Umwelt und Tierhygiene
University of Hohenheim

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