Rhabditid nematode-associated ophthalmitis and meningoencephalomyelitis in captive Asian horned frogs (Megophrys montana)

Denise Imai, Steven A. Nadler, Deena Brenner, Taryn A. Donovan, Allan P. Pessier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Between 2006 and 2008, 4 captive Asian horned frogs (Megophrys montana) were diagnosed with ocular and neurologic disease associated with rhabditid nematodiasis. Mortality, either spontaneous or by humane euthanasia, was high (3/4, 75%). Gross and histologic findings included varying degrees of ulcerative keratitis, histiocytic uveitis and retinitis, meningoencephalomyelitis, and epidermal chromatophore (iridophore) hyperplasia with intralesional nematodes. Entry into the host was presumed to be by direct invasion of the skin and the cornea with migration through the optic nerve to the brain and spinal cord. One frog was diagnosed with rhabditid nematodiasis antemortem, and clinical signs and lesions in the frog did not progress after unilateral enucleation and anthelminthic treatment were completed. Gross and tissue morphology of the nematodes were consistent with the order Rhabditida. DNA was extracted separately from 2 individual nematodes that were isolated from frozen and ethanol-preserved eye and brain tissue. These DNA templates were used for polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequencing of nuclear 28S large subunit (LSU) and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) ribosomal DNA regions. Comparison of the LSU and ITS sequences to those deposited in GenBank revealed an exact match for Caenorhabditis elegans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)568-573
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Asian horned frogs
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Megophrys
  • Verminous ophthalmitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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