DAO 114:77-81 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02849

NOTE
First case of ranavirus and associated morbidity and mortality in an eastern mud turtle Kinosternon subrubrum in South Carolina

Megan E. Winzeler*,**, Matthew T. Hamilton**, Tracey D. Tuberville, Stacey L. Lance

Savannah River Ecology Lab, University of Georgia, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802, USA
**Corresponding author:
**These authors contributed equally to this work

ABSTRACT: Ranaviruses are double-stranded DNA viruses that infect amphibians, fish, and reptiles, causing global epidemics in some amphibian populations. It is important to identify new species that may be susceptible to the disease, particularly if they reside in the same habitat as other at-risk species. On the Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina, USA, ranaviruses are present in several amphibian populations, but information is lacking on the presence, prevalence, and morbidity of the virus in reptile species. An eastern mud turtle Kinosternon subrubrum captured on the SRS in April 2014 exhibited clinical signs of a ranaviral infection, including oral plaque and conjunctivitis. Quantitative PCR analyses of DNA from liver tissue, ocular, oral, nasal, and cloacal swabs were all positive for ranavirus, and sequencing of the template confirmed infection with a FV3-like ranavirus. Histopathologic examination of postmortem tissue samples revealed ulceration of the oral and tracheal mucosa, intracytoplasmic epithelial inclusions in the oral mucosa and tongue sections, individualized and clusters of melanomacrophages in the liver, and bacterial rods located in the liver, kidney, heart, stomach, and small intestine. This is the first report of morbidity and mortality of a mud turtle with a systemic ranaviral infection.


KEY WORDS: Chelonian · Amphibian · Frog virus 3 · FV3 · Iridovirus · Systemic infection · Zoonosis · Savannah River Site


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Cite this article as: Winzeler ME, Hamilton MT, Tuberville TD, Lance SL (2015) First case of ranavirus and associated morbidity and mortality in an eastern mud turtle Kinosternon subrubrum in South Carolina. Dis Aquat Org 114:77-81. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02849

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