The pathogen Ophidiomyces ophidiicola, widely known as the primary cause of snake fungal disease (SFD), has been detected in Texas’s naïve snakes. Our team set out to characterize O. ophidiicola’s spread in eastern Texas. From December 2018 until November 2021, we sampled and screened with ultraviolet (UV) light 176 snakes across eastern Texas and detected 27. O. ophidiicola’s positive snakes using qPCR and one snake in which SFD was confirmed via additional histological examination. Upon finding the ribbon snake with a clear clinical display, we isolated and cultured what we believe to be the first culture from Texas. This cultured O. ophidiicola TX displays a ring halo formation when grown on a solid medium and cellular autofluorescence as expected. Imaging reveals that individual cells within the septated hyphae branches have a distinct nucleus separation from neighboring cells. Overall, we have found over 1/10 snakes that may be infected in East Texas, which gives credence to the onset of SFD in Texas. These results add to the progress of the disease across the continental United States.
Copyright: © 2023 Lizarraga, Hart, Nolen, Williams and Glavy. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Date of publication
Lizarraga, Alan; Hart, Lezley; Nolen, Michele; Williams, Lance R.; and Glavy, Joseph S., "Incidents of Snake Fungal Disease caused by the Fungal Pathogen Ophidiomyces ophidiicola in Texas" (2023). Pharmacy Faculty Publications and Presentations. Paper 8.