Viruses infecting reptiles

Viruses. 2011 Nov;3(11):2087-126. doi: 10.3390/v3112087. Epub 2011 Nov 1.


A large number of viruses have been described in many different reptiles. These viruses include arboviruses that primarily infect mammals or birds as well as viruses that are specific for reptiles. Interest in arboviruses infecting reptiles has mainly focused on the role reptiles may play in the epidemiology of these viruses, especially over winter. Interest in reptile specific viruses has concentrated on both their importance for reptile medicine as well as virus taxonomy and evolution. The impact of many viral infections on reptile health is not known. Koch's postulates have only been fulfilled for a limited number of reptilian viruses. As diagnostic testing becomes more sensitive, multiple infections with various viruses and other infectious agents are also being detected. In most cases the interactions between these different agents are not known. This review provides an update on viruses described in reptiles, the animal species in which they have been detected, and what is known about their taxonomic positions.

Keywords: adenovirus; herpesvirus; iridovirus; paramyxovirus; reptile; taxonomy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Reptiles / virology*
  • Virus Diseases / veterinary*
  • Virus Diseases / virology
  • Virus Physiological Phenomena*
  • Viruses / classification
  • Viruses / genetics
  • Viruses / isolation & purification*