Navigation Links
Good guy or bad guy? Diagnosing stomach disease in pet reptiles
Date:5/31/2011

Although known for over a century, cryptosporidiosis was believed to be an extremely rare condition and it only gained attention with the discovery that it can affect humans, especially immune-compromised individuals. It is caused by a single-cell parasite, one of a family known as cryptosporidia. Some cryptosporidia also infect reptiles, where after a sometimes lengthy incubation period they cause gastrointestinal problems even in otherwise healthy individuals. The condition is usually persistent and is presently impossible to cure. It is therefore important to minimize infections and in this regard reliable diagnostic procedures are essential.

Diagnosis is based on the detection of parasites in faeces but is complicated by the fact that snakes in particular excrete parasites that they swallow together with their prey, so the presence of cryptosporidia in faeces does not necessarily mean the animals are infected. For this reason it is essential to be able to distinguish between "prey" cryptosporidia and those that cause infection in the snake. Barbara Richter and colleagues at the Institute of Pathology and Forensic Veterinary Medicine in the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna now report a DNA-based procedure able to determine not only whether cryptosporidia are present but also whether they are of mammalian or snake origin.

By means of the test, Richter was able to show that a particular type of cryptosporidium is present in about one in six samples from the popularly kept corn snake and in about one in twelve samples from the attractive leopard gecko, a lizard frequently found in reptile collections. These prevalence figures are far higher than previously suspected, showing the widespread nature of the disease. The corn snake in particular seems highly susceptible to infection. Worryingly, the new tool revealed that a large proportion of captive leopard geckos contain cryptosporidia of one form or another. It is possible that some of the infections do not inconvenience the host geckos but the animals nevertheless represent a source of infection for other reptiles that come into contact with them. Many reptile collections house a number of species together and there is therefore a significant risk of cross-species infection.

The new diagnostic procedure represents a precise method for the early diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis in lizards and snakes, before the animals show symptoms of disease. Nevertheless, Richter still raises a cautionary note. "A further problem is that cryptosporidia are often present in faeces in very low numbers so it is easy to miss them in a single test. We are working to make our method more sensitive but it is very important to test the reptiles repeatedly. A negative result does not necessarily mean that the animal is really free of the parasite."


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Barbara Richter
barbara.richter@vetmeduni.ac.at
43-125-077-2424
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Text focuses on diagnosing infections in immunocompromised patients
2. How to deliver the news? New advice for doctors diagnosing prenatal Down syndrome
3. New guidelines for diagnosing, managing and treating Clostridium difficile
4. New test takes guesswork out of diagnosing early-stage Alzheimers disease
5. Diagnosing heart attacks may be a lick and a click away
6. An earlier start on diagnosing breast, prostate cancers
7. Stomach ulcer bug causes bad breath
8. Broccoli sprouts may prevent stomach cancer by defeating Helicobacter pylori
9. Glutamine supplements show promise in treating stomach ulcers
10. Fatty foods -- not empty stomach -- fire up hunger hormone
11. Tummy troubles -- gastrin key in bacterial-induced stomach cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/2/2016)... LONDON , June 2, 2016 ... Systems, Manned Platforms, Unmanned Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & ... intelligence provider visiongain offers comprehensive analysis of ... that this market will generate revenues of $17.98 billion ... Systems acquired DVTEL Inc, a leader in software and ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a brand ... overview results from the Q1 wave of its quarterly ... was consumers, receptivity to a program where they would ... health insurance company. "We were surprised to ... Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... BANGALORE, India and LONDON ... Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a ... ), and Onegini today announced a partnership to ... banking solutions.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ... banks to provide their customers enhanced security to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Prairie, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... consultancy focused on quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free webinar ... is presented on July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: ... the QB3@953 life sciences incubator to accelerate ... The shared laboratory space at QB3@953 was created to ... key obstacle for many early stage organizations - access ... the sponsorship, Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... DIEGO , June 22, 2016 ... that will allow them to produce up to ... from one lot within one week. These high-quality, ... time laboriously preparing cells and spend more time ... possible through a proprietary, high-volume manufacturing process that ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016  According to Kalorama Information, the ... (NGS) market include significant efforts in automation as ... accessible and affordable sequencers, say the healthcare market ... consumables including sample prep materials.  The healthcare market ... Preparation for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) , highlights ...
Breaking Biology Technology: