Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Serious disease in pet lizards caused by new bacteria

Skin infections are common in pet lizards and can lead to fatal organ disease and septicaemia.

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.

Lucy Goodchild | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht When fat cells change their colour
28.10.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Aquaculture: Clear Water Thanks to Cork
28.10.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>