environmental, wildlife and zoo assay data sheet
("Snake fungal disease" or SFD)
- Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of
Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola by real time polymerase
Test F0012 is
included in P0052
- snake and lizard quarantine PCR panel
Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emerging disease of conservation concern
in eastern North America.
Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, which causes SFD, has been
isolated from over 30 species of wild snakes from six families
in North America. Snake species that are affected include the
northern water snake (Nerodia
sipedon), eastern racer (Coluber
constrictor), rat snake (Pantherophis
obsoletus species complex), timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), massasauga (Sistrurus
catenatus), pygmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus
miliarius), milk snake (Lampropeltis
triangulum), and others.
ophiodiicola is a keratinophilic fungus from the family
Onygenaceae of the order
Onygenales. It was first described as
until DNA sequencing confirmed that it was more related to the
Its physiological characteristics allow it to grow in many
Clinical presentation and severity of SFD vary by snake species. Snakes
infected with O.
ophiodiicola can develop symptoms such as scabs or crusty
scales, subcutaneous nodules, premature separation of the
outermost layer of the skin (stratum corneum) from the
underlying skin, other abnormal shedding, white opaque
cloudiness of the eyes not associated with shedding, or
localized thickening or crusting of the skin (hyperkeratosis).
Skin ulcers, swelling of the face, and nodules in the deeper
tissues of the head have also been documented.
Transmission of the fungus can be by direct contact between infected
animals or with environmental contaminants. Environmental
monitoring thus is important to prevent infection.
While fungal culture may be used to presumptively diagnose the fungal
infection, molecular detection by polymerase chain reaction is
the method of choice to provide highly specific, sensitive and
rapid identification of the fungus (Bohuski et al., 2015).
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical
Help ensure that animal groups and facilities are free of
Early prevention of spread of these protozoa
Minimize human exposure to these protozoa
Bohuski, E., Lorch, J.M., Griffin,
K.M. and Blehert, D.S. (2015) TaqMan real-time polymerase chain
reaction for detection of Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, the fungus
associated with snake fungal disease. BMC Vet Res. 11: 95.
or skin swab, or environmental swab, or 0.2 ml of shed skin, or 0.2 ml fresh, frozen or fixed
if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type
for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen
types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm
specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during
very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship
with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are
specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain
frozen in transit. See shipping
instructions for more information
2 business days
Qualitative real time PCR