Herpesvirus Particles Associated with Oral and Respiratory Lesions in a California Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

K. C B Pettan-Brewer, M. L. Drew, E. Ramsay, Frederick C Mohr, Linda J Lowenstine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

A 60-year-old captive California desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) which died in August 1990 at the University of California, Davis, California (USA), during treatment for colonic impaction had marked caseous necrosis of the oral cavity, choana, trachea, and lungs. Numerous intranuclear inclusion bodies and a large number of syncytial giant cells were seen in the oral cavity and respiratory tract along with bacterial granulomas. Pasteurella testudinis, Streptococcus veridans, and coagulase-negative Staphilococcus spp. were cultured from the lesions. Using electron microscopy, herpes-virus particles were observed in intranuclear inclusions and cytoplasm. Viral stomatitis, tracheitis, and bronchopneumonia complicated by bacterial infection were diagnosed. Although respiratory disease is common in desert tortoises, this is believed to be the first report of association with a viral infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-526
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Wildlife Diseases
Volume32
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1996

Keywords

  • Desert tortoise
  • Gopherus (Xerobates) agassizii
  • Herpesvirus infection
  • Respiratory disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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