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4 October 2021 Encephalitozoon pogonae–Associated Systemic Vasculitis in a Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps)
Nicole C. Kaiser, Spencer J. Greenwood, Gillian M. Gouchie, Shannon A. Martinson
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Abstract

A 4-yr-old female central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) with a history of tenesmus was found dead 1 month after surgical debulking of a palpable caudal coelomic mass. At necropsy, a 2.5-cm-diameter, firm, lobulated, tan–yellow mass was associated with the wall of the pelvic canal and bilateral masses were present in the caudal pharynx (0.6 and 3.0 cm in diameter), the largest of which was soft and dark red. Histologically, the mass within the pelvic canal arose from the coelomic wall and consisted primarily of fibrocollagen with myxoid to cystic regions, and mixed inflammatory infiltrates. Additional findings included granulomatous dermatitis, myositis/cellulitis, coelomitis, encephalitis, and pneumonia. Vasculitis was detected in multiple organs, and in the pharynx resulted in aneurysmal dilation and perivascular hemorrhage leading to masslike lesions. Within all lesions, scattered macrophages contained oval, weakly basophilic, Gram-positive, slightly refractile, 1–2 µm-diameter ovoid organisms consistent with microsporidia. A diagnosis of systemic microsporidiosis characterized by lymphohistiocytic and heterophilic vasculitis with medial hypertrophy and fibrinoid necrosis was made. Using DNA sequencing, the organism was identified as Encephalitozoon pogonae. Encephalitozoon pogonae should be considered a differential diagnosis for vasculitis and aneurysms in bearded dragons.

Nicole C. Kaiser, Spencer J. Greenwood, Gillian M. Gouchie, and Shannon A. Martinson "Encephalitozoon pogonae–Associated Systemic Vasculitis in a Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps)," Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery 31(3), 168-172, (4 October 2021). https://doi.org/10.5818/JHMS-S-20-00013
Published: 4 October 2021
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KEYWORDS
aneurysm
Encephalitozoon pogonae
microsporidia
Pogona vitticeps
vasculitis
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