University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna - Research portal

Selected Publication:

Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2007

Authors: Benetka, V; Grabensteiner, E; Gumpenberger, M; Neubauer, C; Hirschmuller, B; Mostl, K

Title: First report of an iridovirus (Genus Ranavirus) infection in a Leopard tortoise (Geochelone pardalis pardalis).

Source: Wien Tierarztl Monatsschr (94), 9-10 243-248.

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Benetka Viviane
Grabensteiner Elvira
Gumpenberger Michaela
Hess Claudia
Möstl Karin

Vetmed Research Units
University Clinic for Small Animals, Clinical Unit of Diagnostic Imaging
Institute of Virology
University Clinic for Poultry and Fish Medicine

Project(s): Computed Tomography in Chelonians

An adult Leopard tortoise (Geochelone pardalis pardalis) with severe clinical disease characterised by nasal discharge, severe necrotising stomatitis, dehydration, apathy and anorexia was presented at the Clinic for Avian, Reptile and Fish Medicine of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. Shortly before the onset of clinical symptoms the animal had been imported from Ethiopia. Specific PCRs for iridovirus and Chelonid herpesvirus (ChHV) gave positive results with pharyngeal swabs and necrotic layers of the oral cavity. The positive result could be confirmed by sequencing for iridovirus specific nucleic acids, the band achieved for ChHV was too weak for sequencing. Additionally various bacterial infections (Staphylococcus spp., Citrobacter freundii, E coli, Salmonella spp., coagulase negative Staphylococcus spp.) and mycosis (Candida spp.) were found, probably all secondary due to the virus induced epithelial damage. Sequence analysis of the detected iriclovirus revealed nucleotide identities of 98 to >99 % with various amphibian and reptilian isolates of the FV-3 group. After one month of intensive treatment the animal was released and recovered fully after 4 months. Our results show that an iriclovirus infection has to be considered as possible coagent or differential diagnosis to ChHV. This is, the first report of iridovirus infection in the species Geochelone pardalis pardalis.

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