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30 December 2021 Evaluation of Paromomycin Treatment for Cryptosporidium serpentis Infection in Eastern Indigo Snakes (Drymarchon couperi)
James E. Bogan Jr, Michelle Hoffman, Falicia Dickerson, Mark A. Mitchell, Michael M. Garner, April Childress, James F.X. Wellehan
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Abstract

Thirty-four eastern indigo snakes (Drymarchon couperi) naturally infected with Cryptosporidium serpentis were randomly divided into two groups. The first group received 360 mg/kg paromomycin twice weekly in a food item for 6 wk, and the second group received the food item with no treatment. Cloacal swabs were collected every 2 months for 6 months to measure C. serpentis shedding by probe hybridization quantitative polymerase chain reaction testing (qPCR). Snakes that were qPCR negative after 6 months were immunosuppressed with a single dose of 4 mg/kg dexamethasone sodium-phosphate SC. These snakes were then screened by qPCR for an additional 6 months as described above. Snakes that were qPCR negative after 1 yr of serial sampling were then re-evaluated for C. serpentis via gastric biopsy for histological and qPCR analyses. The paromomycin-treated group were significantly (P = 0.008) more likely to test qPCR negative (8/17; 47%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 23.2–70.7) than the control snakes (1/17; 5.8%, 95% CI: 0.01–16.9) prior to immunosuppression. However, there was no significant difference (P = 0.5) in C. serpentis status following immunosuppression, as only 2/17 (11.7%, 95% CI: 0.01–26.9) paromomycin-treated snakes were qPCR negative 6 months after immunosuppression compared to 1/17 (5.8%, 95% CI: 95% CI: 0.01–16.9) control snakes. These findings suggest that 360 mg/kg paromomycin twice weekly for 6 wk in a food item is ineffective in eliminating C. serpentis in naturally infected D. couperi.

James E. Bogan Jr, Michelle Hoffman, Falicia Dickerson, Mark A. Mitchell, Michael M. Garner, April Childress, and James F.X. Wellehan "Evaluation of Paromomycin Treatment for Cryptosporidium serpentis Infection in Eastern Indigo Snakes (Drymarchon couperi)," Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery 31(4), 307-314, (30 December 2021). https://doi.org/10.5818/JHMS-D-21-00010
Published: 30 December 2021
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
Cryptosporidium serpentis
Drymarchon couperi
Eastern Indigo Snake
Gastric cryptosporidiosis
paromomycin
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