The turtle species that we tested via experimental challenges (two exposure treatments: water bath and consumption of infected L. sylvaticus tadpoles) in the laboratory was Trachemys scripta eleganas (hatchlings) with moderate mortality (35 – 45%) after 28 days. Thus, this species can be infected with ranavirus and may play are role in ranavirus epidemiology in the wild. You might consider swabbing T. s. eleganas next year at your sampling sites. Your data set from Israel will be a significant contribution to understanding the global distribution of ranaviruses!
All the Best--- Matt
Thanks for the update.
Here the RV survey was initiated by collecting samples of Salamander that have been run over by cars and collection of tadpole samples from different ponds.
I have been following the correspondence regarding the RV in box turtles. I was wandering if you or the group have any information regarding RV in aquatic turtles, especially Trachemys scripta eleganas. These species is invasive in Israel and although I have no reports of massive death events, I was wondering about its possible role as an additional distribution agent for RV in amphibians.
Tom Waltzek, Deb and I are conducting a series of interclass transmission studies exploring the possibility of FV3-like ranaviruses isolated from fish, reptiles and amphibians transmitting among these classes via controlled experimental challenges. Preliminary results suggest this is possible. We also have demonstrated in the lab that infected wood frog tadpoles that are scavenged by turtles results in transmission. These data are new and should be published in 2012. We plan to expand this work to aquatic mesocosms in a few months. Experiments with snakes are in the works.
All the Best--- Matt
Does anyone have a sense of search effort / detection in wild snakes? Several species of snakes rely on amphibians as a diet staple = transmission possibilities. Thoughts?
April can probably speak to this best as her article in Journal of Wildlife Diseases is a good summary. I can add that at least 3 locations in Maryland including the site mentioned in the post article have been reported since that time (just for wild turtles). My feeling is that the only reason these sites are known is because we have a lot of people working with box turtles in this area and it likely goes largely undetected because there is such a narrow time frame in which the sick or dead turtle can be found in a condition that allows for testing coupled with the low detection probability of the animal itself.
On Feb 15, 2012, at 11:45 AM, Jesse Brunner <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Thank you, April.
I have been wondering how often ranavirus has been found in wild populations. From what I can tell from the literature, most if not all documented occurrences have been in captivity. But then I hear anecdotal reports of ranavirus in turtles here and there. I remember hearing about ranavirus being found in Blandings turtles in New York State a few years back, but so far as I can tell this has never been published.
So a question for those in the know, How common are ranavirus outbreaks in wild turtles? Is it simply under-reported?
School of Biological Sciences
Washington State University
283 Eastlick Hall / PO Box 644236
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On Feb 15, 2012, at 8:00 AM, Johnson, April J wrote:
We found Iridovirus-like particles on EM from tissues in a box turtle die off involving 30 turtles dating back to 1991 in Georgia. It is likely not a new problem, although it is possible it is increasing in frequency or at least in detection. In 2003, there was a die-off in a repatriated box turtle population in Pennsylvania that was being closely tracked by Bill Belzer. He wrote up a paper for the Jan 2011 issue of the Turtle and Tortoise newsletter on his own personal observations and speculations that may not be easily accessible (not peer-reviewed). I’ve attached it in case it may be of interest to anyone.
April Johnson, DVM, MPH, PhD
Dipl ACVM, Dipl ACVPM
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health
Purdue University, College of Veterinary Medicine
Phone: (765) 494-0562
<belzer Seibert 2011 ranavirus pdf (2).pdf>