Infections are particularly risky in lizards that are bred in captivity for release into the wild, as they can spread into the wild population. The cause of these diseases has been unclear but now researchers in Belgium have discovered a new bacterium responsible for dermatitis in desert lizards.
According to research published in the September issue of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, the discovery could help control the disease and protect endangered species.
Desert-dwelling lizards belonging to the genera Agama and Uromastyx that live in the arid and desert areas of North Africa are now bred in captivity in Europe. "The establishment of healthy captive populations is an important tool for the conservation of threatened species," said Professor An Martel from Ghent University, Belgium. "On the other hand, restocking of wild populations with captive bred animals carrying pathogens might compromise the survival of these wild populations. Skin diseases are highly prevalent in captive lizards."
Dermatitis is the most important known bacterial disease of desert lizards that prevents successful captive populations from being established. One example is the captive breeding programme of the rare Oman dab lizard (Uromastyx thomasi) a joint project between Germany and Oman, to which pathogens like this may pose a real threat.
"We isolated bacteria from five different desert lizards suffering from dermatitis, two agama lizards (Agama impalearis) and three spiny-tailed lizards (Uromastyx geyri and U. acanthinura)," said Professor Martel. "We could not identify the bacterium that was causing the disease, but the pathogen was the same in all five lizards."
The researchers looked at the genetic sequence of the bacterium and discovered it represents a new taxon and species. They have named the bacterium Devriesea agamarum (Devriesea referring to the veterinary microbiologist L.A. Devriese and agamarum after Agama, an Old World reptile). "We have demonstrated a causal relationship between this bacterium and skin lesions in desert-dwelling lizards," said Professor Martel. "This microbe is also related to bacteria that cause skin infections in humans."
The cases of dermatitis and septicaemia from which the new bacterium Devriesea agamarum was isolated are highly prevalent, especially in captive lizards. The researchers hope the identification of this species will contribute to our understanding of lizard skin disease and help develop control measures. "In the future we would like to study host-pathogen interactions, design treatments and investigate the use of a vaccination to prevent the development of disease caused by Devriesea agamarum," said Professor Martel.
Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells
22.02.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital
New insights into the information processing of motor neurons
22.02.2017 | Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
22.02.2017 | Life Sciences
22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy