Original Article

Detection of Ophidiomyces ophidiicola in wild barred grass snakes (Natrix helvetica) in the Netherlands

Authors
  • T. Stark
  • W. Beukema
  • M.J. Gilbert
  • E. Goverse
  • A. Spitzen-van der Sluijs
  • R.P.J.H. Struijk
  • E. Verbrugghe
  • F. Pasmans
  • A. Martel

Abstract

Ophidiomyces ophidiicola is the causative agent of ophidiomycosis (also called snake fungal disease) and has been associated with mycosis in individual snakes and population declines in several North American snake species. While cases of ophidiomycosis from North America have been numerous in the past two decades, reports from Europe remain sparse and are lacking from the Benelux. Between 2017 and 2023, sloughed skins, carcasses and swabs from 284 freeranging, captive and introduced snakes belonging to 22 species were screened for the presence of O. ophidiicola in the Netherlands. Two free-ranging barred grass snakes’ (Natrix helvetica) shed skin sloughs tested positive despite a lack of gross cutaneous signs of disease. These findings are presented in this article. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report of the presence of O. ophidiicola in the Netherlands.

How to Cite:

Stark, T., Beukema, W., Gilbert, M., Goverse, E., Spitzen-van der Sluijs, A., Struijk, R., Verbrugghe, E., Pasmans, F. & Martel, A., (2024) “Detection of Ophidiomyces ophidiicola in wild barred grass snakes (Natrix helvetica) in the Netherlands”, Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 93(2), 79–84. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/vdt.90405

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Published on
30 Apr 2024
Peer Reviewed