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Methods for collection, preservation, and sporulation of snake fecal stages to help resolve what we still don’t know about snake coccidia. Steve J. Upton (Kansas State University) Donald W. Duszynski (University of New Mexico).

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Methods for collection, preservation,

and sporulation of snake fecal stages

to help resolve what we still don’t

know about snake coccidia

Steve J. Upton

(Kansas State University)

Donald W. Duszynski

(University of New Mexico)


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Snake coccidia are usually treated like most other coccidia

1-3% potassium dichromate

in Petri dish. Check daily

You may have

problems with

some Sarcocystis spp.

You may have

problems with some

thin-walled eimerians


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Only 4 snake families

seem have been examined “extensively” for coccidia

Boidae

Colubridae

Elapidae

Viperidae


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Several coccidian genera

are easily recognizable in snakes

sporocysts/sporozoites

CaryosporaLeger 1904 (1 and 8)

EimeriaSchneider 1875 (4 and 8)

IsosporaSchneider 1881 (2 and 8)

SarcocystisLankester 1882 (2 and 8)


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Cylindrical eimerian oocysts are common in all families of snakes

Eimeria bitis

(Bitis arietans)

Eimeria papillosum

(Salvadora grahamiae)

Eimeria “zamenis”

(Coluber contrictor)


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All known ‘elongate’ snakes

species develop in

gall bladder

epithelium

They can

accumulate in

the gall bladder

in very large

numbers



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Boidae snakes

(19 host genera)

A. Caryospora epicratesi

B. Eimeria boae

D, E. Eimeria pythonis

F. Eimeria samyadeli

C. Tyzzeria boae


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Elapidae snakes

(63 host genera)

A. Caryospora cobrae

B. Caryospora constanciae

C. Caryospora micruri

D. Caryospora regentensis

E. Eimeria micruri

F. Eimeria najae

G. Caryospora demansiae


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Viperidae snakes

(Crotalinae)

A. Caryospora bigenetica

B. Caryospora jararacae

C. Caryospora jararacae

D. Eimeria amarali

E. Eimeria amareli

F. Eimeria bothropis

G. Eimeria cascabeli


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Viperidae snakes

(Viperinae)

A. Caryospora maculatus

B. Caryospora matatu

C. Caryospora simplex

D. Caryospora simplex

E. Caryospora maxima

F. Eimeria atheridis

G. Eimeria bitis

H. Eimeria cerastes

I. Isospora gursae


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Colubridae snakes

(331 host genera)

Generanamed species

Caryospora 30

Eimeria 40

Eimeria (elongate) 15+

Isospora 4


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Few (true) isosporans seem to exist in snakes snakes

Most described species are either

Sarcocystis or avian isosporans


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Isospora colubris snakes

from Hierophis viridiflavis

(syn. Coluber viridiflavis)

from Matuschka (1986) Parasitol Res 72: 549-551

Isospora wilsoni

from the colubrids

Tantilla gracilis & T. relicta

from Upton et al (1992) TAMS 111:50-60


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Isospora guersae snakes

Vipera lebatina (Viperidae)

(from Yakimoff & Matschoulsky 1937)

Isospora guzarica

Platyceps karelini (Colubridae)

(from Davronov 1985)


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Some snakes Sarcocystis described as isosporans

“Isospora minuta” DasGupta 1938

Naja naja (Elapidae)

“Isospora lenti” Pinto 1934

Bothrops jararaca (Viperidae)


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More recent snakes Sarcocystis descriptions

Sarcocystis ameivamastigodryasi Lainson & Paperna, 2000

Ameiva (Teiidae) / Mastigodryas (Colubridae)

Sarcocystis atheridis Slapeta et al 1999

Lemniscomys (Muridae) / Atheris (Viperidae)


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Sarcocystis snakes


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Caryospora snakes

Develop in snake

intestine

Develop in rodent

dermal tissues

Form transmissible

“caryocysts” (I)



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Caryospora snakes may have two lineages

Caryospora

bigenetica

Caryospora

duszynskii

Caryospora

peruensis


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Summation of snake coccidia snakes

Tends to be higher prevalence and diversity

in tropical (higher humidity) areas

Most snake coccidia tolerate 1-3% aqueous

potassium dichromate

Gall bladder eimerians common in all taxa

Caryospora / Sarcocystis common in all taxa


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