Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus) with Bacterial Clinical Stomatitis
Background: Stomatitis is an infectious disease common in serpents and responsible for high mortality rates. It is characterized by the infection of the oral mucosa and neighboring tissues, related to the opportunistic character of bacteria present in the normal microbiota, pathogenic in stressful situations. Few studies have described the profile of sensibility of these agents in serpents of the Brazilian fauna. Therefore, this study has aimed at describing the isolation and identification of the infectious agents involved in the clinic stomatitis in a specimen of green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), and the profile of susceptibility to antimicrobial agents.
Case: The serpent has been rescued in an urban environment, without previous records and featured erosive injuries in its oral cavity, with the presence of secretion. In a clinical evaluation, it has been assessed that the specimen had erosive injuries in its oral cavity, with hyperemic points in its mucosa and serous secretion. Then the specimen went through a collection of the secretion from its oral cavity for microbiological analysis. Typical colonies of Enterococcus, Citrobacter and Enterobacter were identified by the colony morphology and their typical odor. The results of these tests were able to confirm and identify the Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter spp. and Enterococcus spp. The profile of sensibility to antimicrobials of the isolated microorganisms has been determined through the method of diffusion in the disk of Kirby-Bauer. There was not any sensitive antimicrobial drug for the three agents.
Discussion: Immunodepression, malnutrition, and temperatures and humidity outside the animal thermal comfort zone, are predisposing factors for the development of bacterial diseases in reptiles. Little information about pathogen agents affecting constrictor serpents in their native area is available. Most reports on stomatitis in serpents approach cases occurred in captive animals, differently from what has been presented in this case, which is about a free animal rescued when invading an urban area. The bacteria isolated from the oral cavity of the serpent here reported belong to the normal microbiota of the oral cavity of these animals. Notwithstanding, these bacteria may become pathogenic in certain circumstances. Conditions of undernutrition, stress and oral trauma are considered as predisposing factors to the occurrence of stomatitis in serpents, what can be correlated to the occurrence of the disease in this case. The gram-negative agents causing bacterial diseases in serpents are generally resistant to medicines of the most common spectrum used in the clinical routine of wild animals. This way, veterinarians often deal with these diseases in reptiles empirically, using a wide range of antibiotics. This practice might result in the development of resistant bacterial stumps, what stands out due to the potential that resistant bacteria have to generate infections and zoonoses in humans.
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