Sunday, December 18, 2016
New test and better understanding of deadly inclusion body disease in boas and pythons.
A new research has revealed a New test and better understanding of deadly infection in boas and pythons. This new study sheds light on inclusion body disease, and may help veterinary care teams better protect the health of their populations of large snakes. A newly published study in The Veterinary Journal sheds light on the disease, and may help veterinary care teams better protect the health of their populations of large snakes.Inclusion body disease (IBD) found in both boa constrictor and python species and signs may include periodic or chronic regurgitation, head tremors, abnormal shedding, anorexia, clogged nostrils, and pneumonia. The disease can rapidly progress to nervous system signs, such as disorientation, corkscrewing of the head and neck, holding the head in abnormal and unnatural positions, rolling onto the back or stargazing. The current strategies for IBD control include identification and isolation of affected snakes, but making a definitive diagnosis of IBD in a living animal can be challenging. Infected snakes may continue to feed and otherwise behave normally, and may infect other snakes prior to developing clinical signs of illness and chronic disease. The inclusion body disease is caused by the reptarenavirus and this was observed in apparently healthy boa constrictors which buttressed the fact that sub clinical cases are common.Researchers at the University of Florida, in collaboration with Colorado State University and University of California, San Francisco, sought to understand disease prevalence in captive snake populations using both routine and specialized immunohistochemical cell-staining techniques. The research team tested 131 snakes and determined that 19 percent of their study population had inclusion body disease. In snakes positive for IBD, 87 percent were clinically healthy.