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First detection of herpesvirus and mycoplasma in free-ranging Hermann tortoises (Testudo hermanni), and in potential pet vectorsuse asterix (*) to get italics
Jean-marie Ballouard, Xavier Bonnet, Julie Jourdan, Albert Martinez-Silvestre, Stephane Gagno, Brieuc Fertard, Sebastien CaronPlease use the format "First name initials family name" as in "Marie S. Curie, Niels H. D. Bohr, Albert Einstein, John R. R. Tolkien, Donna T. Strickland"
<p style="text-align: justify;">Two types of pathogens cause highly contagious upper respiratory tract diseases (URTD) in Chelonians: testudinid herpesviruses (TeHV) and a mycoplasma (<em>Mycoplasma agassizii</em>). In captivity, these infections are frequent and can provoke outbreaks. Pet trade generates international flow of tortoises, often without sanitary checking; individuals intentionally or accidentally released in the wild may spread pathogens. A better understanding of the transmission of infectious agents from captivity to wild tortoises is needed. Many exotic individuals have been introduced in populations of the endangered western Hermann’s tortoise (<em>Testudo hermanni hermanni</em>), notably spur-thighed tortoises (<em>Testudo graeca</em>). We assessed the presence of TeHV and mycoplasma in native western Hermann’s tortoises and in potential pet vectors in south-eastern France. Using a large sample (N=572 tortoises), this study revealed, by PCR, the worrying presence of herpesvirus in 7 free-ranging individuals (3 sub-populations). Additionally, <em>Mycoplasma agassizii</em> was detected, by PCR, in 15 of the 18 populations sampled with a frequency ranging from 3.4% (1 of 29 tortoises) to 25% (3 of 12 tortoises). Exotic spur-thighed tortoises showed high frequency of mycoplasma infection in captivity (18.2%) and in individuals (50%) found in native Hermann’s tortoise sub-populations, suggesting that this species could be a significant vector. The paucity of information of TeHV on European tortoise’ URTD in natural settings, especially in combination with mycoplasma, prompts for further studies. Indeed, sick tortoises remain concealed and may not be easily detected in the field. Our results indicate a good health for most infected tortoise but it should be screened in the field as well as in captivity.</p> should fill this box only if you chose 'All or part of the results presented in this preprint are based on data'. URL must start with http:// or https://
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Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs), Mycoplasma agassizii, Testudinidae, upper respiratory tract diseases (URTD), reptiles.
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Parasitology, Reptiles
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2021-01-25 17:25:34
Peter Galbusera