Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Infections with adenoviruses in bearded dragons.

Abstract

The purpose of this paper was to present a novel veterinary problem of viral infections in reptiles. Adenoviral infections occur in many captive reptiles also in bearded dragons often kept as companion animals. So far the most problematic is Agamid adenovirus 1 (AgAdV1), that has been reported in three species of these lizards: Pogona barbata, Pogona vitticeps and Pogona henrylawsoni. Premonitory signs of AgAdV1 infection are often non-specific, including loss of appetite, weight loss and weakness. Fatal gastroenteritis and hepatitis can occur in neonatal and young lizards. Usually, affected animals have secondary infections and also parasitic invasions. Histopathology can identify the intranuclear inclusion bodies associated with adenoviral infection which can be found mainly in hepatocytes and epithelial cells of intestinal mucosa. Their presence frequently accompanies severe pathological lesions and multiple hemorrhages in the liver. The diagnostic approach is difficult however, when performed ante-mortem. There are no effective treatments in these infections. Currently available PCR test improves the diagnostic procedure and allows detecting adenoviruses in cloacal washings or in feces of lizards. This is of critical importance in lizards colonies.