Diseases of Reptiles and Amphibians

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 13483

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Veterinary Science, University of Pisa, Viale delle Piagge 2, 56124 Pisa, Italy
2. Interdepartmental Research Center “Nutraceuticals and Food for Health” (NUTRAFOOD), University of Pisa, 56121 Pisa, Italy
3. Centre for Climate Change Impact, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy
Interests: zoonosis; bacterial infectious diseases; vector-borne diseases; antibiotic resistance; One Health
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

Reptiles and amphibians are increasingly present in domestic environment as companion pets. Millions of households, mainly in the United States and Europe, own at least one reptile or amphibian. Reptiles include turtles, lizards, and snakes, and amphibians include frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. Sometimes, these animals are kept in cages, but often, they are free to move in rooms, coming into close contact with owners and their house furnishings. Reptiles and amphibians are also kept in zoos and circuses, as well as being largely present in the natural environment. Captive and free-ranging reptiles and amphibians, although asymptomatic, may harbor and excrete a large number of different pathogens that can determine infections in other animals and humans. Cases of zoonosis, such as salmonellosis, related to direct or indirect contact with cold-blooded animals, have been frequently reported. Children, immunocompromised persons, veterinarians, zoo and circus personnel are most frequently at risk of infection.

Furthermore, reptiles and amphibians may be affected by metabolic, nutritional and neoplastic diseases, and they can be victims of traumatic injuries. For this reason, increasing interest has been directed toward the development of pharmacological and surgical treatments differing in relation to cold-blooded animal species.

This Special Issue aims to collect and disseminate some of the most significant and recent contributions regarding the diseases of captive and free-ranging reptiles and amphibians. Research studies and reviews on infectious and parasitic diseases, with emphasis on zoonosis, but also metabolic, nutritional and neoplastic diseases, are appreciated.

Dr. Valentina Virginia Ebani
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Captive/free-ranging reptiles
  • Captive/free-ranging amphibians
  • Infectious diseases
  • Parasitic diseases
  • Zoonosis
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Nutritional diseases
  • Neoplastic diseases
  • Traumatic disorders
  • Therapy

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

6 pages, 216 KiB  
Communication
Serological Survey on the Occurrence of Anti-Leptospira spp. Antibodies in Red-Eared Terrapins (Trachemys scripta elegans) Living in a Natural Park of Northern Italy
by Eleonora Bonacina, Maurizio Oltolina, Roberto Robbiati, Paolo Pinzauti and Valentina Virginia Ebani
Animals 2021, 11(3), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030602 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1399
Abstract
Turtles are suspected to be involved in the epidemiology of Leptospira; however, data about the dissemination of this zoonotic pathogen among chelonians are scant. In the present study, the serum samples collected from 49 Trachemys scripta elegans living in a natural park [...] Read more.
Turtles are suspected to be involved in the epidemiology of Leptospira; however, data about the dissemination of this zoonotic pathogen among chelonians are scant. In the present study, the serum samples collected from 49 Trachemys scripta elegans living in a natural park of northern Italy were tested by a microagglutination test to measure detectable antibodies against different Leptospira serovars. Three (6.12%) turtles had agglutinins to the serovar Tarassovi, suggesting that they were exposed to the spirochaetes. Currently, it is not clear if Leptospira can cause disease in chelonians or if these animals can serve as reservoirs of leptospirae. Considering that chelonians often share the same environment with other animals and humans, and considering the One Health perspective, investigations to better understand the role of chelonians as a source of Leptospira infection are necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diseases of Reptiles and Amphibians)
22 pages, 14888 KiB  
Article
Monitoring of Unhatched Eggs in Hermann’s Tortoise (Testudo hermanni) after Artificial Incubation and Possible Improvements in Hatching
by Alenka Dovč, Mateja Stvarnik, Renata Lindtner Knific, Gordana Gregurić Gračner, Igor Klobučar and Olga Zorman Rojs
Animals 2021, 11(2), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020478 - 11 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 6568
Abstract
The causes of embryonic mortality in Hermann’s tortoises (Testudo hermanni) during artificial incubation were determined. Total egg failure at the end of the hatching period was investigated. The hatching artefacts represented 19.2% (N = 3557) of all eggs (N = 18,520). [...] Read more.
The causes of embryonic mortality in Hermann’s tortoises (Testudo hermanni) during artificial incubation were determined. Total egg failure at the end of the hatching period was investigated. The hatching artefacts represented 19.2% (N = 3557) of all eggs (N = 18,520). The viability rate of incubated eggs was 80.8%. The eggs, i.e., embryos, were sorted according to the cause of unsuccessful hatching and subsequently analyzed. Some of the eggs were divided into two or more groups. Unfertilized eggs were confirmed in 61.0%, infected eggs in 52.5%, and eggs in various stages of desiccation in 19.1%. This group also included mummified embryos. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus sp., Purpureocillium lilacinum, and Escherichia coli were frequently confirmed in infected eggs. Embryos were divided into three groups: embryos up to 1.0 cm—group 1 (2.2%), embryos from 1.0 cm to 1.5 cm—group 2 (5.4%) and embryos longer than 1.5 cm—group 3 (7.3%) of all unhatched eggs. Inability of embryos to peck the shell was found in 1.3%. These tortoises died shortly before hatching. Embryos still alive from the group 2 and group 3 were confirmed in 0.7% of cases. Dead and alive deformed embryos and twins were detected in the group 3 in 0.5% and 0.1% of cases, respectively. For successful artificial hatching, it is important to establish fumigation with disinfectants prior to incubation and elimination of eggs with different shapes, eggs with broken shells, and eggs weighted under 10 g. Eggs should be candled before and periodically during artificial incubation, and all unfertilized and dead embryos must be removed. Heartbeat monitor is recommended. Proper temperature and humidity, incubation of “clean” eggs on sterile substrate and control for the presence of mites is essential. Monitoring of the parent tortoises is also necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diseases of Reptiles and Amphibians)
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14 pages, 4288 KiB  
Article
Pathogenesis of Isospora amphiboluri in Bearded Dragons (Pogona vitticeps)
by Michael Walden and Mark A. Mitchell
Animals 2021, 11(2), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020438 - 8 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4537
Abstract
Isospora amphiboluri is a common coccidian found in captive bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps). To minimize the impact of this parasite, it is important to characterize its pathogenesis so that we can develop appropriate methods for diagnosis and treatment. Forty-five juvenile bearded [...] Read more.
Isospora amphiboluri is a common coccidian found in captive bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps). To minimize the impact of this parasite, it is important to characterize its pathogenesis so that we can develop appropriate methods for diagnosis and treatment. Forty-five juvenile bearded dragons were used for this two-part study. In the first part, ten bearded dragons were infected with 20,000 oocysts per os, while a control group of five animals received only water. Feces were collected over 45 days and screened for oocysts. In the second part, thirty bearded dragons were used to characterize the pathogenesis of I. amphiboluri. Twenty-five bearded dragons were infected as described previously, while five animals served as controls. Five infected bearded dragons and one control were humanely euthanized on days 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 post-infection for complete necropsies. The pre-patent period for I. amphiboluri was found to be 18.6 ± 1.9 days (range 15–22 days). Histopathology confirmed that I. amphiboluri follows a homoxenous life cycle. Infections begin in the duodenum and progress to the colon over time. The findings of this study can be used to develop better quarantine and treatment protocols for captive bearded dragons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diseases of Reptiles and Amphibians)
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