Renal infection with flagellated protozoa was retrospectively evaluated in 29 reptiles, including 12 turtles, 7 tortoises, and 6 chameleons; overall, 20 species of reptiles were represented. Most cases presented with nonspecific clinical signs or a combination of several concurrent diseases. Nineteen of 29 reptiles had tubulointerstitial nephritis associated with flagellates, and this lesion was considered contributory to death in 15 cases, although concurrent diseases were frequent. Infection was invasive into the renal interstitium in three reptiles due to tubular rupture and in one chameleon also spread to adjacent tissues, coelomic cavity, and blood vessels due to renal rupture. Cytologic or ultrastructural evaluation of trophozoites in two cases was consistent with diplomonad flagellates. Renal disease was often complicated with soft-tissue mineralization and/or gout. Gastrointestinal and cloacal infection with flagellates and inflammation were frequent in reptiles in which the digestive tract was available for histopathologic examination, and this supports the possibility of infections ascending the urinary tract from the cloaca. Renal disease associated with flagellate protozoa is rare in vertebrates but appears to be relevant in reptiles, particularly chelonians and chameleons.
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