[Examination on the occurence, clinical appearence and the detection of Chamaeleomyces sp. in clinically diseased chameleons]

Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2015 Jan-Feb;128(1-2):39-45.
[Article in German]


In reptiles, over the last years the importance of diseases caused by fungal infections has steadily increased. Chamaeleomyces sp. is a relatively new, but more and more relevant pathogen causing systemic mycosis in chameleons. The aim of this study therefore was to obtain information on the occurrence of these fungi in chameleons, to describe their clinical appearance and to evaluate potential diagnostic procedures. 41 chameleons belonging to six different species, and demonstrating clinical signs suspicious for a Chamaeleomyces infection, were clinically examined. Samples were obtained and examined cytologically, bacteriologically, mycologically as well as with molecular methods. Ten animals additionally underwent a pathological examination. The clinical findings included proliferations on the tongue, the throat and the skin, petechial bleedings, joint swellings as well as inflammatory alterations of the eye. In 13 animals the fungi could be detected cytologically. Mycological cultivation was successful in 16 animals. Molecular-biological methods revealed Chamaeleomyces granulomatis in 13 veiled chameleons and Chamaeleomyces viridis in three panther chameleons and one carpet chameleon. Notably, pathogen detection was not equally successful from samples taken from the different areas with clinical alterations. The results of this study demonstrate that, even though the clinical signs of the infection are variable, specific findings such as granulomatous alterations on the tongue and throat occur particularly often. The study also shows that the verification by PCR is the most reliable method. However mycological and repeated cytological examinations are also advisable. In case of doubt, several diagnostic procedures should be combined.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hypocreales / isolation & purification*
  • Lizards*
  • Mycoses / diagnosis
  • Mycoses / microbiology
  • Mycoses / pathology
  • Mycoses / veterinary*
  • Pharynx / microbiology
  • Pharynx / pathology
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Skin / pathology
  • Tongue / microbiology
  • Tongue / pathology