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Field Diagnostics and Seasonality of Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in Wild Snake Populations.
Ecohealth. 2019 03; 16(1):141-150.E

Abstract

Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emerging disease caused by the fungal pathogen, Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola. Clinical signs of SFD include dermal lesions, including regional and local edema, crusts, and ulcers. Snake fungal disease is widespread in the Eastern United States, yet there are limited data on how clinical signs of SFD compare with laboratory diagnostics. We compared two sampling methods for O. ophiodiicola, scale clip collection and swabbing, to evaluate whether collection method impacted the results of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In addition, we evaluated the use of clinical signs to predict the presence of O. ophiodiicola across seasons, snake habitat affiliation (aquatic or terrestrial) and study sites. We found no significant difference in PCR results between sampling methods. Clinical signs were a strong predictor of O. ophiodiicola presence in spring and summer seasons. Snakes occupying terrestrial environments had a lower overall probability of testing positive for O. ophiodiicola compared to snakes occupying aquatic environments. Although our study indicates that both clinical signs of SFD and prevalence of O. ophiodiicola vary seasonally and based on habitat preferences of the host, our analysis suggests that clinical signs can serve as a reliable indicator of O. ophiodiicola presence, especially during spring and summer.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 40546-7118, USA.Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 40546-7118, USA. steven.price@uky.edu.Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 40546-7118, USA.Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 40546-7118, USA.Conservation Ecology Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Front Royal, VA, 22630, USA.U.S. Geological Survey - National Wildlife Health Center, Madison, WI, 53711, USA.U.S. Geological Survey - National Wildlife Health Center, Madison, WI, 53711, USA.

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

30349999

Citation

McKenzie, Jennifer M., et al. "Field Diagnostics and Seasonality of Ophidiomyces Ophiodiicola in Wild Snake Populations." EcoHealth, vol. 16, no. 1, 2019, pp. 141-150.
McKenzie JM, Price SJ, Fleckenstein JL, et al. Field Diagnostics and Seasonality of Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in Wild Snake Populations. Ecohealth. 2019;16(1):141-150.
McKenzie, J. M., Price, S. J., Fleckenstein, J. L., Drayer, A. N., Connette, G. M., Bohuski, E., & Lorch, J. M. (2019). Field Diagnostics and Seasonality of Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in Wild Snake Populations. EcoHealth, 16(1), 141-150. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-018-1384-8
McKenzie JM, et al. Field Diagnostics and Seasonality of Ophidiomyces Ophiodiicola in Wild Snake Populations. Ecohealth. 2019;16(1):141-150. PubMed PMID: 30349999.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Field Diagnostics and Seasonality of Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in Wild Snake Populations. AU - McKenzie,Jennifer M, AU - Price,Steven J, AU - Fleckenstein,J Leo, AU - Drayer,Andrea N, AU - Connette,Grant M, AU - Bohuski,Elizabeth, AU - Lorch,Jeffrey M, Y1 - 2018/10/22/ PY - 2017/08/22/received PY - 2018/10/02/accepted PY - 2018/10/01/revised PY - 2018/10/24/pubmed PY - 2018/10/24/medline PY - 2018/10/24/entrez KW - Clinical signs KW - Fungal pathogens KW - PCR KW - Reptiles KW - Snake fungal disease SP - 141 EP - 150 JF - EcoHealth JO - Ecohealth VL - 16 IS - 1 N2 - Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emerging disease caused by the fungal pathogen, Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola. Clinical signs of SFD include dermal lesions, including regional and local edema, crusts, and ulcers. Snake fungal disease is widespread in the Eastern United States, yet there are limited data on how clinical signs of SFD compare with laboratory diagnostics. We compared two sampling methods for O. ophiodiicola, scale clip collection and swabbing, to evaluate whether collection method impacted the results of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In addition, we evaluated the use of clinical signs to predict the presence of O. ophiodiicola across seasons, snake habitat affiliation (aquatic or terrestrial) and study sites. We found no significant difference in PCR results between sampling methods. Clinical signs were a strong predictor of O. ophiodiicola presence in spring and summer seasons. Snakes occupying terrestrial environments had a lower overall probability of testing positive for O. ophiodiicola compared to snakes occupying aquatic environments. Although our study indicates that both clinical signs of SFD and prevalence of O. ophiodiicola vary seasonally and based on habitat preferences of the host, our analysis suggests that clinical signs can serve as a reliable indicator of O. ophiodiicola presence, especially during spring and summer. SN - 1612-9210 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/30349999/Field_Diagnostics_and_Seasonality_of_Ophidiomyces_ophiodiicola_in_Wild_Snake_Populations_ L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10393-018-1384-8 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -