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  • Author or Editor: Rachel E. Marschang x
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OBJECTIVE To measure immunologic responses of snakes after experimentally induced infection with ferlaviruses.

ANIMALS 42 adult corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) of both sexes.

PROCEDURES Snakes were inoculated intratracheally with genogroup A (n = 12), B (12), or C (12) ferlavirus (infected groups) or cell-culture supernatant (6; control group) on day 0. Three snakes from each infected group were euthanized on days 4, 16, 28, and 49, and 3 snakes from the control group were euthanized on day 49. Blood samples were collected from live snakes on days −6 (baseline), 4, 16, 28, and 49. Hematologic tests were performed and humoral responses assessed via hemagglutination-inhibition assays and ELISAs. Following euthanasia, gross pathological and histologic evaluations and virus detection were performed.

RESULTS Severity of clinical signs of and immunologic responses to ferlavirus infection differed among snake groups. Hematologic values, particularly WBC and monocyte counts, increased between days 4 and 16 after infection. A humoral response was identified between days 16 and 28. Serum IgM concentrations increased from baseline earlier than IgY concentrations, but the IgY relative increase was higher at the end of the study. The hemagglutination-inhibition assay revealed that the strongest reactions in all infected groups were against the strain with which they had been infected. Snakes infected with genogroup A ferlavirus had the strongest immune response, whereas those infected with genogroup B had the weakest responses.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results of this experimental study suggested that the ferlavirus strain with the highest virulence induced the weakest immune response in snakes.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To compare mineral types of naturally occurring uroliths in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) from North America, Europe, and Asia and to identify potential risk factors associated with cystine urolithiasis in ferrets.


1,054 laboratory submission records of uroliths obtained from ferrets between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2018.


For this cross-sectional study, the medical records databases at 4 diagnostic laboratories were searched for records of submissions of uroliths obtained from ferrets. Data collection included submission date; ferret sex, neuter status, and age; receiving laboratory and continent; and urolith mineral type. Regression analyses were performed to identify variables associated with cystine uroliths.


Of the 1,054 urolith submissions, 1,013 were from North America, with 92.6% (938/1,013; 95% CI, 90.8% to 94.1%) cystine uroliths, and 41 were from Europe and Asia, with only 26.8% (11/41; 95% CI, 15.7% to 41.9%) cystine uroliths. Median age was 2.0 years for ferrets with cystine urolithiasis versus 4.0 years for those with other types of uroliths. Submissions were more likely cystine uroliths for ferrets in North America versus Europe and Asia (adjusted OR [aOR], 59.5; 95% CI, 21.4 to 165.6), for ferrets that were younger (aOR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.77), or for submissions in 2018 versus 2010 (aOR, 21.1; 95% CI, 5.1 to 87.9).


Results indicated that the proportion of submissions that were cystine uroliths dramatically increased in North America between 2010 and 2018. There is an urgent need to determine underlying causes and mitigate cystine urolithiasis in ferrets.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association