ISSN 2398-2985      

Herpes virus infection

Jreptile

Introduction

  • Cause: many reptilian herpesviruses exist.
  • Signs: stomatitis, rhinitis, proliferative skin lesions, glossitis, nasal discharge, ocular changes, caseous plaques on tongue, edema on the neck, anorexia, dyspnea, death.
  • Diagnosis: PCR detection of viral DNA, post-mortem examination, serological testing.
  • Treatment: address husbandry; supportive care; antibiotics for any secondary bacterial infection; acyclovir.
  • Prognosis: varies depending on immune system of the animals and the herpesvirus present.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Many herpesviruses have co-evolved with the reptile host.
  • Reptilian herpesviruses belong to the subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae.
  • They are large enveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses ranging in size from 120-200 nm. They can cause latent infections. Development of clinical disease will depend on both viral and host factors.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Immunosuppression.
  • Underlying diseases.

Pathophysiology

  • Herpesviruses cause proliferative mucocutaneous lesions.
  • In some cases the mucocutaneous lesions may progress to neoplasia.
  • In peracute disease, an inflammatory response may not be seen as the animal may die before this occurs.

Timecourse

  • Viruses replicate in the host nucleus resulting in intranuclear inclusion bodies.
  • Cause latent infections in their hosts; latent virus remains inactive in neuronal cells.
  • Disease depends on both host and viral factors.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Marschang R E (2016) Viral Diseases of Reptiles. In Pract 38 (6), 275-285 VetMedResource.
  • Wellehan J F X, Jarchow J L, Reggiardo C & Jacobson E R (2003) A novel herpesviruses associated with hepatic necrosis in a San Esteban Chuckwalla (Sauromalus varius). J Herpetol Med Surg 13, 15-19 JHerpMedSurg.
  • Wellehan J F X, Nichols D K, Li L & Kapur V (2004) Three novel herpesviruses associated with stomatitis in Sudan plated lizards (Gerrhosaurus major) and a black-lined plated lizard (Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus). J Zoo Wildl Med 35 (1), 50-54 PubMed.
  •  Wellehan J F X et al (2005) Varanid herpesvirus 1: a novel herpesvirus associated with proliferative stomatitis in green tree monitors (Varanus prasinus). Vet Microbiol 105 (2), 83-92 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Marschang R E (2014) Clinical Virology. In: Current Therapy in Reptile Medicine and Surgery. Eds: Mader D & Divers S. Elsevier Saunders, USA. pp 32-52.
  • Wellehan J F X Jr (2013) Herpesvirus Infections. In: Clinical Veterinary Advisor Birds and Exotic Pets. Eds: Mayer J & Donnelly T M. Elsevier Saunders, USA. pp 105-106.

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