Twenty-three leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) with various clinical histories of weight loss, anorexia, lethargy, and diarrhea were submitted either intact or as biopsy specimens to the University of Florida Anatomic Pathology Service. Gross necropsy findings in the intact geckos included marked reduction of subcutaneous adipose tissue stores at the tail base and mild thickening and reddening of the small intestine. Histologic examination revealed Cryptosporidium sp. infection associated with hyperplasia and mononuclear inflammation of the small intestine in all geckos. Parasites and lesions were only rarely observed in the stomach and large intestine of geckos. The histologic and ultrastructural lesions in the small intestine of leopard geckos infected with Cryptosporidium sp. have not been well characterized previously. This report implicates Cryptosporidium sp. as the cause of disease in the geckos and describes the range of histologic lesions observed.
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Vol. 34 • No. 1