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Development of Snake Fungal Disease after Experimental Challenge with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorous).
PLoS One. 2015; 10(10):e0140193.Plos

Abstract

Snake fungal disease (SFD) is a clinical syndrome associated with dermatitis, myositis, osteomyelitis, and pneumonia in several species of free-ranging snakes in the US. The causative agent has been suggested as Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, but other agents may contribute to the syndrome and the pathogenesis is not understood. To understand the role of O. ophiodiicola in SFD, a cottonmouth snake model of SFD was designed. Five cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorous) were experimentally challenged by nasolabial pit inoculation with a pure culture of O. ophiodiicola. Development of skin lesions or facial swelling at the site of inoculation was observed in all snakes. Twice weekly swabs of the inoculation site revealed variable presence of O. ophiodiicola DNA by qPCR in all five inoculated snakes for 3 to 58 days post-inoculation; nasolabial flushes were not a useful sampling method for detection. Inoculated snakes had a 40% mortality rate. All inoculated snakes had microscopic lesions unilaterally on the side of the swabbed nasolabial pit, including erosions to ulcerations and heterophilic dermatitis. All signs were consistent with SFD; however, the severity of lesions varied in individual snakes, and fungal hyphae were only observed in 3 of 5 inoculated snakes. These three snakes correlated with post-mortem tissue qPCR evidence of O. ophiodiicola. The findings of this study conclude that O. ophiodiicola inoculation in a cottonmouth snake model leads to disease similar to SFD, although lesion severity and the fungal load are quite variable within the model. Future studies may utilize this model to further understand the pathogenesis of this disease and develop management strategies that mitigate disease effects, but investigation of other models with less variability may be warranted.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Wildlife Epidemiology Lab, Department of Comparative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, United States of America; Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, Champaign, IL, United States of America.Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, Champaign, IL, United States of America.Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, Champaign, IL, United States of America.Wildlife Epidemiology Lab, Department of Comparative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, United States of America.Wildlife Epidemiology Lab, Department of Comparative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, United States of America.Wildlife Epidemiology Lab, Department of Comparative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, United States of America.Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, United States of America.Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, United States of America.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26469977

Citation

Allender, Matthew C., et al. "Development of Snake Fungal Disease After Experimental Challenge With Ophidiomyces Ophiodiicola in Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon Piscivorous)." PloS One, vol. 10, no. 10, 2015, pp. e0140193.
Allender MC, Baker S, Wylie D, et al. Development of Snake Fungal Disease after Experimental Challenge with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorous). PLoS ONE. 2015;10(10):e0140193.
Allender, M. C., Baker, S., Wylie, D., Loper, D., Dreslik, M. J., Phillips, C. A., Maddox, C., & Driskell, E. A. (2015). Development of Snake Fungal Disease after Experimental Challenge with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorous). PloS One, 10(10), e0140193. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0140193
Allender MC, et al. Development of Snake Fungal Disease After Experimental Challenge With Ophidiomyces Ophiodiicola in Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon Piscivorous). PLoS ONE. 2015;10(10):e0140193. PubMed PMID: 26469977.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Development of Snake Fungal Disease after Experimental Challenge with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorous). AU - Allender,Matthew C, AU - Baker,Sarah, AU - Wylie,Daniel, AU - Loper,Daniel, AU - Dreslik,Michael J, AU - Phillips,Christopher A, AU - Maddox,Carol, AU - Driskell,Elizabeth A, Y1 - 2015/10/15/ PY - 2015/08/31/received PY - 2015/09/22/accepted PY - 2015/10/16/entrez PY - 2015/10/16/pubmed PY - 2016/6/9/medline SP - e0140193 EP - e0140193 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS ONE VL - 10 IS - 10 N2 - Snake fungal disease (SFD) is a clinical syndrome associated with dermatitis, myositis, osteomyelitis, and pneumonia in several species of free-ranging snakes in the US. The causative agent has been suggested as Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, but other agents may contribute to the syndrome and the pathogenesis is not understood. To understand the role of O. ophiodiicola in SFD, a cottonmouth snake model of SFD was designed. Five cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorous) were experimentally challenged by nasolabial pit inoculation with a pure culture of O. ophiodiicola. Development of skin lesions or facial swelling at the site of inoculation was observed in all snakes. Twice weekly swabs of the inoculation site revealed variable presence of O. ophiodiicola DNA by qPCR in all five inoculated snakes for 3 to 58 days post-inoculation; nasolabial flushes were not a useful sampling method for detection. Inoculated snakes had a 40% mortality rate. All inoculated snakes had microscopic lesions unilaterally on the side of the swabbed nasolabial pit, including erosions to ulcerations and heterophilic dermatitis. All signs were consistent with SFD; however, the severity of lesions varied in individual snakes, and fungal hyphae were only observed in 3 of 5 inoculated snakes. These three snakes correlated with post-mortem tissue qPCR evidence of O. ophiodiicola. The findings of this study conclude that O. ophiodiicola inoculation in a cottonmouth snake model leads to disease similar to SFD, although lesion severity and the fungal load are quite variable within the model. Future studies may utilize this model to further understand the pathogenesis of this disease and develop management strategies that mitigate disease effects, but investigation of other models with less variability may be warranted. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26469977/Development_of_Snake_Fungal_Disease_after_Experimental_Challenge_with_Ophidiomyces_ophiodiicola_in_Cottonmouths__Agkistrodon_piscivorous__ L2 - http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0140193 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -