Ophidiomycosis, caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophidiicola, poses a threat to the health of wild and managed snakes worldwide. Variation in snake innate immunity, the primary defense against infection in reptiles, may explain the observed variation in ophidiomycosis clinical disease severity among snakes. In this study, two components of the innate immune response were examined in snake plasma. We investigated whether complement activity, as measured by sheep red blood cell hemolysis, and chitotriosidase activity were associated with ophidiomycosis disease severity and time in captivity in Lake Erie watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon insularum). There was no difference in complement-mediated hemolysis or chitotriosidase activities between snakes with varying levels of ophidiomycosis clinical severity sampled in the field. However, among snakes with skin lesions kept in captivity, chitotriosidase activity was significantly higher in snakes with mild disease, compared with snakes with severe disease, and hemolysis activity increased with time in captivity. Overall, Lake Erie watersnakes had higher complement activity, but lower chitotriosidase activity, compared with other reptile species. To our knowledge, this study is the first to describe chitotriosidase activity in a snake species. These results provide mixed evidence of associations between innate immune function and ophidiomycosis severity, and more work is needed to investigate differences among snake species.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 58 • No. 2