Ranaviruses and reptiles

PeerJ. 2018 Dec 12;6:e6083. doi: 10.7717/peerj.6083. eCollection 2018.


Ranaviruses can infect many vertebrate classes including fish, amphibians and reptiles, but for the most part, research has been focused on non-reptilian hosts, amphibians in particular. More recently, reports of ranaviral infections of reptiles are increasing with over 12 families of reptiles currently susceptible to ranaviral infection. Reptiles are infected by ranaviruses that are genetically similar to, or the same as, the viruses that infect amphibians and fish; however, physiological and ecological differences result in differences in study designs. Although ranaviral disease in reptiles is often influenced by host species, viral strain and environmental differences, general trends in pathogenesis are emerging. More experimental studies using a variety of reptile species, life stages and routes of transmission are required to unravel the complexity of wild ranavirus transmission. Further, our understanding of the reptilian immune response to ranaviral infection is still lacking, although the considerable amount of work conducted in amphibians will serve as a useful guide for future studies in reptiles.

Keywords: Bibliometrics; Diagnostics; Immunology; Pathology; Ranavirus; Reptiles; Reservoirs; Susceptibility; Taxonomy; Transmission.

Grant support

The authors received no funding for this work.