Disseminated systemic mycosis in Veiled chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus) caused by Chamaeleomyces granulomatis

Vet Microbiol. 2012 Dec 28;161(1-2):145-52. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2012.07.017. Epub 2012 Jul 20.


The aim of the examination was to gain knowledge on the incidence of Chamaeleomyces granulomatis mycosis in Veiled chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus), a disease which has recently been described as a single outbreak in a zoo collection. During a time period of 26 months (September 2009-November 2011) 18 Veiled chameleons presented at the clinic for various reasons were examined for the presence of C. granulomatis. Swabs were taken from tongue and skin lesions of live chameleons and from internal granulomas of deceased chameleons. Mycological culture was performed on Sabouraud dextrose and Potato dextrose agar as described previously. For the first time, the obtained isolates were screened for susceptibility towards different antifungal drugs by use of agar diffusion testing. Fungal species were determined by amplification with different primers, as reported before, and sequencing of parts of the 28S rDNA gene, the 18S rDNA gene, internal transcribed spacer region-1 DNA and 5.8S rDNA gene. Ten cases of disseminated mycosis caused by C. granulomatis were thus documented. These animals were kept in nine different collections of differing owners. Common findings in diseased chameleons were disseminated mycosis, glossitis and dermatitis. Although all isolates were tested sensitive to terbinafine and nystatin. The results of this study clearly show, contrary to a recently published single outbreak in a zoo collection, that disseminated mycosis caused by C. granulomatis in Veiled chameleons is, a common and often fatal infectious disease in this species. The routes of infection or treatment options are still unknown and need further investigation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Female
  • Hypocreales / drug effects
  • Hypocreales / genetics
  • Hypocreales / physiology*
  • Insecta / microbiology
  • Lizards*
  • Male
  • Mycoses / diagnosis
  • Mycoses / microbiology
  • Mycoses / pathology
  • Mycoses / veterinary*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • DNA, Ribosomal