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Nidovirus-Associated Proliferative Pneumonia in the Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis)


Dervas, Eva. Nidovirus-Associated Proliferative Pneumonia in the Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis). 2017, University of Zurich, Vetsuisse Faculty.

Abstract

Since 2014 we observed a noticeable increase in sudden deaths of green tree pythons (Morelia viridis). A total of 12 affected green tree pythons from 7 different breeders were submitted for a diagnostic post mortem examination. The gross examination revealed accumulation of mucus within airways and lung, associated with enlargement of the entire lung. Histology showed marked hyperplasia of the airway epithelium and faveolar type II pneumocytes. Using next-generation sequencing (NGS) on lung samples of diseased snakes we identified a viral RNA genome that was approximately 85% identical with nidoviruses previously identified in ball pythons and an Indian python. We then confirmed the presence of the novel nidovirus in all diseased snakes by RT-PCR. To attempt virus isolation, we established primary cell cultures of Morelia viridis liver and brain, these were inoculated with lung homogenates of diseased snakes. Ultrastructural examination of concentrated cell culture supernatants revealed nidovirus particles, and subsequent NGS analysis yielded the full genome of the novel Morelia viridis nidovirus (MVNV). We then generated an antibody against MVNV nucleoprotein and MVNV specific oligoprobes and used immunohistology and RNA in situ hybridisation to identify the viral target cells in the lungs. Nidoviruses are a likely cause of severe pneumonia in pythons and cause sudden outbreaks in breeding collections.
Keywords: Nidovirus, pneumonia, Morelia viridis

Abstract

Since 2014 we observed a noticeable increase in sudden deaths of green tree pythons (Morelia viridis). A total of 12 affected green tree pythons from 7 different breeders were submitted for a diagnostic post mortem examination. The gross examination revealed accumulation of mucus within airways and lung, associated with enlargement of the entire lung. Histology showed marked hyperplasia of the airway epithelium and faveolar type II pneumocytes. Using next-generation sequencing (NGS) on lung samples of diseased snakes we identified a viral RNA genome that was approximately 85% identical with nidoviruses previously identified in ball pythons and an Indian python. We then confirmed the presence of the novel nidovirus in all diseased snakes by RT-PCR. To attempt virus isolation, we established primary cell cultures of Morelia viridis liver and brain, these were inoculated with lung homogenates of diseased snakes. Ultrastructural examination of concentrated cell culture supernatants revealed nidovirus particles, and subsequent NGS analysis yielded the full genome of the novel Morelia viridis nidovirus (MVNV). We then generated an antibody against MVNV nucleoprotein and MVNV specific oligoprobes and used immunohistology and RNA in situ hybridisation to identify the viral target cells in the lungs. Nidoviruses are a likely cause of severe pneumonia in pythons and cause sudden outbreaks in breeding collections.
Keywords: Nidovirus, pneumonia, Morelia viridis

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Dissertation
Referees:Kipar Anja
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Pathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:December 2017
Deposited On:25 Jan 2018 08:37
Last Modified:19 Mar 2018 09:34
Number of Pages:57
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Related URL. An embargo period may apply.
Related URLs:http://www.recherche-portal.ch/ZAD:default_scope:ZORA138544
http://www.zora.uzh.ch/id/eprint/138544/

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