Presumptive viral infections in captive populations of Boa constrictor in the Czech Republic

https://doi.org/10.17221/2064-VETMEDCitation:Knotek Z., Jekl V., Dorrestein G.M., Blahak S., Knotkova Z. (2007): Presumptive viral infections in captive populations of Boa constrictor in the Czech Republic. Veterinarni Medicina, 52: 512-520.
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The aim of this study was to present outbreaks of infections with presumptive viral aetiology in boid snakes kept in different private collections in the Czech Republic. A total number of 16 boid snakes (Boa constrictor) from five private snake collections were included in this study. The patients exhibited neurological depression, dehydration, chronic anorexia, recurrent regurgitation of food, weak muscle tone and stargazing. The blood profile of patients was characterised by extremely low haematocrit. Hyperuricaemia, hypoglycaemia and/or high concentration of phosphorus were measured in some snakes, but not in all patients. All examined faecal samples were negative for the presence of any species of protozoan parasites as well as for eggs of metazoan parasites. Antibodies against the ophidian paramyxovirus in serum samples were determined by a haemagglutination-inhibition assay. This serologic assay was in the suspect range in one snake. Samples of different tissues from snakes that died or were euthanised were collected for necropsy and prepared for a histological examination. Histology results indicated IBD at least in six snakes, basophilic intracytoplasmatic inclusion bodies were detected in the liver, kidneys, lungs, intestine, stomach, hearth, spleen and pancreas of these patients. More specific assays are needed for the clinical diagnosis and control of viral infections in reptilian breeding collections.
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