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1 June 2017 GRANULOMATOUS ENCEPHALOMYELITIS IN A FALSE GHARIAL (TOMISTOMA SCHLEGELII) ASSOCIATED WITH A NOVEL CHLAMYDIA SPECIES
Marjorie Bercier, Darryl J. Heard, Alexandra M. Goe, Ember Epperson, Jeffrey R. Abbott, April L. Childress, James F. X. Wellehan
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Abstract

A 5-yr-old, captive, hatched, female false gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii) presented with a 1-mo history of cervical spinal curvature. Antemortem diagnostics, including blood work, electromyography, muscle biopsies, and advanced imaging tests, were either within reference ranges or did not identify any specific etiology. Necropsy revealed extensive, marked, chronic granulomatous encephalomyelitis along with neuronal necrosis, rarefaction, gliosis, and astrocytosis of the white and gray matter of the cerebrum, cerebellum, brainstem, and spinal cord. Pan-chlamydiae polymerase chain reaction protocols for the 16S ribosomal RNA and ompA genes were performed on samples of spinal cord and brain, and both resulted in amplicons. Sequencing of the products revealed that they were positive for a novel Chlamydia species. Infections by members of the phylum Chlamydiae have been reported in a diverse range of vertebrate hosts, including crocodilians. Chlamydia spp. infections are likely underdiagnosed because of a paucity of diagnostic techniques specific for detection. This is the first case report of a novel Chlamydia species associated with severe granulomatous encephalomyelitis in a false gharial.

Copyright 2017 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Marjorie Bercier, Darryl J. Heard, Alexandra M. Goe, Ember Epperson, Jeffrey R. Abbott, April L. Childress, and James F. X. Wellehan "GRANULOMATOUS ENCEPHALOMYELITIS IN A FALSE GHARIAL (TOMISTOMA SCHLEGELII) ASSOCIATED WITH A NOVEL CHLAMYDIA SPECIES," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 48(2), 563-567, (1 June 2017). https://doi.org/10.1638/2016-0187R.1
Received: 10 February 2017; Published: 1 June 2017
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KEYWORDS
Chlamydia
encephalomyelitis
false gharial
scoliosis
Tomistoma schlegelii
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