Illness associated with paramyxo-like virus infection in a zoologic collection of snakes.

E. Jacobson, J. M. Gaskin, D. Page, W. O. Iverson, J. W. Johnson

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Of 438 snakes in a zoologic collection, 35 died during a 3-month period; all were members of the family Viperidae. Clinical signs consisted of gaping of the mouth followed within 1 day by convulsions. All necropsied animals had a mucoid exudate throughout the respiratory tract. Histologic evaluation of lung revealed evidence of interstitial pneumonia, with occasional eosinophilic intracytoplasmic inclusions in epithelial cells. A paramyxo-like virus, isolated in viper heart cells from lung tissue, was observed by electron microscopy to be budding from cell membranes. The virus hemagglutinated chicken red blood cells at 5 C, and antibody titers were assayed by hemagglutination inhibition. In a random survey of 22 snakes from the zoologic collection, antibody titers to the virus ranged from 1/20 to 1/2,560.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1227-1230
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 1981


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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