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Bluey Beginner
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Postby Tokkay » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:20 pm

So I unfortunately have a fairly sick panther chameleon right now and I fear that adenovirus may be the cause. Still waiting on the full blood work report to get a better idea.

That said, I've been trying to do research on adenoviruses in reptiles these last few days, and there seem to only be a few good sources with most other sources just repeating statements. I did find some interesting information to share about it for anyone else who ever may have to deal with adenovirus in one of their reptiles one day, or already has.

It looks like the University of Florida has been doing research on adenoviruses and is actually able to do some pathology testing:

(I believe northern blue tongue skinks are on the list of reptiles that are known to have been infected by adenoviruses)

Research for adenovirus is mostly focused towards bearded dragons, as they are most affected. It could be different in skinks, but in bearded dragons it looks like some can even be "carriers" of the virus for some time without showing symptoms, as well as being able to pass it on from mother to baby.

Some more informative documents: ... on_In_.pdf

It seems like adenoviruses are becoming more wide spread, especially for people who keep/breed bearded dragons. Some of the documents/articles can be a bit hard to follow (I don't know all the medical terms so well) but it appears like there may even be different 'strains' of viruses? The last link I posted indicates that there are actually different types/variations of the virus that affect different species, but I could just be misunderstanding. I'm not certain if the different virus types can be transmitted between different species (like a bearded dragon transmitting it to a skink).

It looks like liver and gastrointestinal problems are some of the biggest indicators that adenoviruses could be present. Some research indicates that neurological problems (stargazing, turning in circles) are also associated with adenovirus.

If anyone else is familiar with adenovirus or has any information/links they can share, I'm super interested to hear. I'm trying to learn more about it; even if my chameleon doesn't end up having it (fingers crossed), I'm really interested in learning more about adenoviruses in reptiles. I hope one day we are able to understand the virus even better and can find a cure for this problem.
Bluey Beginner
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Re: Adenovirus

Postby snowsensei » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:43 pm

I'm not particularly specialized in veterinary medicine, but I have a degree in microbiology and immunology and have studied viruses quite a bit (though it's been a while since I had to read peer reviewed journals on it). I find viruses fascinating so I gave those articles a read. Here's what I got out of it, I'm sure there are people with far more specialized knowledge so feel free to correct me if I missed something.

First it is important to know that adenovirus is a family of viruses. Which kinda means genetically one adenovirus can be as different from another as a beardie to a chameleon (both are in the same family of reptiles), or for humans we are in the family hominidae which includes things like orangutans. So while we call it all adenovirus they can be pretty different. This is great news since adenoviruses are also DNA viruses which in general have a lower chance of mutation and low chance of going from one species to another. From what it said in the Florida article, they only saw infection going from one species to another in between fat-tailed gecko and leopard gecko (which are of the same family), and the more recent pubmed article mentioned they seen this happen between two different species of colubrid snakes (same family again).

Luckily Bluetongues are not as closely related to agamids like chameleons and beardies (being in the same order, think us and other primates like lemurs), sooo hopefully this means a very low chance of your chameleon getting your bluetongue sick is pretty minimal. Still to be on the safe side I would still be careful. The Florida article said that the virus is generally transferred via the feces for bearded dragons. Virus need living cells to reproduce, but some can survive quite long outside of the body as well, so standard washing with soap and warm water after working with your chameleon or its enclosure might be a good idea until the tests come back, hopefully, negative.

As for cures... since we still haven't been able to find a good cure for human adenovirus... I wouldn't hold my breath :P. Luckily adenovirus has evolved alongside humans for a long time and is not really that harmful to us. Viruses don't "want" to kill us, ideally we'd carry them around forever and spread them to everyone.

P.S. If you are interested in how reptiles relate to each other wikipedia's article on Squamata is pretty fascinating.

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