Renal myxozoanosis in crowned river turtles Hardella thurjii: Description of the putative agent Myxidium hardella n. sp. by histopathology, electron microscopy, and DNA sequencing

  • Garner M
  • Bartholomew J
  • Whipps C
 et al. 
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Chelonian myxozoanosis is rarely reported and has previously not been documented to cause disease. This report describes myxozoanosis associated with significant renal disease in two Crowned River turtles (Hardella thurjii). One turtle presented with emaciation and died. The cage mate presented with emaciation and was euthanized. Histologically, renal intratubular myxozoan spores were associated with renal tubular necrosis, tubular mineralization, and chronic interstitial nephritis, with membranoproliferative and mes-angioproliferative glomerulopathy. Both turtles also had disseminated metastatic mineralization. On the basis of these findings, chronic renal insufficiency from myxozoanosis and subsequent metastatic mineralization were considered the primary problems. By light and electron microscopy, the myxozoan spores had features of the genus Myxidium. Maximum parsimony analysis of small-subunit rDNA sequences placed the turtle myxozoan basal to a clade containing Myxidium truttae and a Myxidium sp. with strong bootstrap support. This myxozoan agent appears to be a significant pathogen in H. thurjii on the basis of morphologic changes in the kidneys of in the infected turtles.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Crown River turtles
  • Hardella thurjii
  • Myxidium
  • Myxozoa
  • Myxozoanosis
  • rDNA sequence

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  • M. M. Garner

  • J. L. Bartholomew

  • C. M. Whipps

  • R. W. Nordhausen

  • P. Raiti

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