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Cross-continental emergence of Nannizziopsis barbatae disease may threaten wild Australian lizards

Peterson, N.R., Rose, K., Shaw, S., Hyndman, T.H., Sigler, L., Kurtböke, D.I., Llinas, J., Littleford-Colquhoun, B.L., Cristescu, R. and Frère, C. (2020) Cross-continental emergence of Nannizziopsis barbatae disease may threaten wild Australian lizards. Scientific Reports, 10 (1). Art. 20976.

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Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77865-7
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Abstract

Members of the genus Nannizziopsis are emerging fungal pathogens of reptiles that have been documented as the cause of fatal mycoses in a wide range of reptiles in captivity. Cases of severe, proliferative dermatitis, debility and death have been detected in multiple free-living lizard species from locations across Australia, including a substantial outbreak among Eastern water dragons (Intellagama lesueurii) in Brisbane, Queensland. We investigated this disease in a subset of severely affected lizards and identified a clinically consistent syndrome characterized by hyperkeratosis, epidermal hyperplasia, dermal inflammation, necrosis, ulceration, and emaciation. Using a novel fungal isolation method, histopathology, and molecular techniques, we identified the etiologic agent as Nannizziopsis barbatae, a species reported only once previously from captive lizards in Australia. Here we report severe dermatomycosis caused by N. barbatae in five species of Australian lizard, representing the first cases of Nannizziopsis infection among free-living reptiles, globally. Further, we evaluate key pathogen and host characteristics that indicate N. barbatae-associated dermatomycosis may pose a concerning threat to Australian lizards.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Veterinary Medicine
Publisher: Springer Nature
Copyright: © 2020 The Authors.
United Nations SDGs: Goal 15: Life on Land
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/58967
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