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Lecture 17

WFSC 301 Lecture Notes - Lecture 17: Western Blot, Vertically Transmitted Infection, FomitePremium

2 pages26 viewsSpring 2017

Wildlife & Fisheries Sci.
Course Code
WFSC 301
Walter Cook

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 1400 PM
Lecture 17: Mycoplasma
Etiologic Agent: Mycoplasma agassizii and Mycoplasma testudineum
Gram negative
Can survive without oxygen
Lacks cell wall
- Unaffected by common antibiotics such as penicillin
Also known as Upper respiratory tract disease
Isolated from free ranging desert tortoises in the mojave desert,
Hosts: Only found in tortoises
Likely that all species of tortoises are susceptible
Not zoonotic
Geographic Distribution
Found in captive and wild tortoises in Europe + England and US
Develops as early as 2 weeks after infection
White crust around nse
bubbles out of nose
whistling and gurgling sounds
mouth breathing
loss of appeitite
For Upper respiratory tract disease:
Nasal discharge
puffy eyelids
dullness to skin
Gross Lesions:
No obvious gross lesions
horizontal transmission via direct contact with the same species or
through contaminated surface (fomite transmission)
Vertical transmission hasn’t been documented but hasn’t been
ruled out as a method of transmission
Environmental transmission in the wild is unlikely
Aerosol transmission is possible
- uses serum or plasma, no whole blood
- detects M. agassizii antibodies
Western Blot
- Plasma
- Distinguishes between natural and acquired M. agassizii
Culture/PCR testing
- Culture media and nasal samples
- High specificity and rapid detection
- Downside is that it may not detect closeley related strains of
Treated with antibiotics: enrofloxacin - through nostrils
No cure -> tortoises are lifetime carriers
Prevention and control
Quarantine all new arrivals for at least 6 months
Limit number of tortoises in an area to limit exposure to infection
Do not release infected tortoises into the wild
If a handler has been in a positive pen they must disinfect or
remove clothing before going into a negative pen
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