Triple infection with agamid adenovirus 1, Encephaliton cuniculi-like microsporidium and enteric coccidia in a bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps)

Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere. 2016 Oct 12;44(5):355-358. doi: 10.15654/TPK-150790. Epub 2016 Jul 7.
[Article in En, German]


A 2-month-old juvenile central bearded dragon was presented for anorexia and cachexia. Another specimen from the same cage had died suddenly 2 weeks prior. Fecal analysis revealed a high quantity of Isospora amphiboluri and a few pinworm eggs. Other examinations were not performed and the animal died a few days later despite supportive care. A third individual from the same cage presented with anorexia and a distended cœlom and was euthanized. In this third dragon, histological examination revealed intestinal coccidiosis, basophilic intranuclear inclusions compatible with adenovirus infection, acute hepatic necrosis with intrahepatocytic and intraenteritic organisms typical of microsporidia and renal gout. A PCR confirmed the diagnosis of adenovirosis. Sequencing showed that the PCR product was 100% identical to the corresponding portion of the agamid adenovirus 1 genome. A PCR for the detection of Encephalitozoon (E.) cuniculi was positive. Partial sequencing revealed 100% identity to an E. cuniculi-like organism previously found in bearded dragons. In cases where environmental factors such as poor hygiene or stress can be excluded, the presence of opportunistic pathogens in high numbers can be due to a systemic (viral) infection with temporary immunosuppression.

Keywords: Reptile; adenovirosis; fungi; immunosuppression; microsporidiosis; protozoa.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / isolation & purification
  • Adenoviridae Infections / microbiology
  • Adenoviridae Infections / parasitology
  • Adenoviridae Infections / veterinary*
  • Animals
  • Coccidia / isolation & purification
  • Coccidiosis / microbiology
  • Coccidiosis / parasitology
  • Coccidiosis / veterinary*
  • Coccidiosis / virology
  • Coinfection / microbiology
  • Coinfection / parasitology
  • Coinfection / veterinary*
  • Coinfection / virology
  • Encephalitozoon cuniculi / isolation & purification
  • Encephalitozoonosis / microbiology
  • Encephalitozoonosis / parasitology
  • Encephalitozoonosis / veterinary*
  • Encephalitozoonosis / virology
  • Lizards* / microbiology
  • Lizards* / parasitology
  • Lizards* / virology
  • Microsporidia