Cutaneous mycobiota of boid snakes kept in captivity

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Boids are large, constrictor snakes that feed mostly on mammals, reptiles, and birds. These animals are commonly raised as pets, and their improper handling can favor the emergence of fungal infections, which can lead to dermatological diseases that are undiagnosed in nature. Here, we isolate and identify the filamentous fungi that compose the mycobiota of the scales of boid snakes kept in captivity at the Biological Museum of the Butantan Institute. Thirty individuals of four species were evaluated: four Eunectes murinus, twelve Boa constrictor constrictor, seven Corallus hortulanus, and seven Epicrates crassus. Microbiological samples were collected by rubbing small square carpets on the snake scales. We isolated five genera of fungi: Penicillium sp. (30%), Aspergillus sp. (25%), Mucor sp. (25%), Acremonium sp. (10%), and Scopulariopsis sp. (10%). Approximately half of the snakes evaluated had filamentous fungi on the scales, but only 12% of the individuals were colonized by more than one fungal genus. We found no dermatophytes in the evaluated species. Our results provide an overview of the fungal mycobiota of the population of boids kept in the Biological Museum, allowing the identification of possible pathogens.
Freire B.C., Garcia VC, Quadrini A.E., Bentubo H.D.L.. Cutaneous mycobiota of boid snakes kept in captivity. Arq. Bras. Med. Vet. Zootec.. 2019 Oct;71(4):1093-1099. doi:10.1590/1678-4162-1099.
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