Mycoplasma testudineum in free-ranging desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii

Journal of Wildlife Diseases
By:  and 



We performed clinico-pathological evaluations of 11 wild Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) from a translocation project in the central Mojave Desert, California, USA. Group 1 consisted of nine tortoises that were selected primarily due to serologic status, indicating exposure to Mycoplasma testudineum (seven) or both M. agassizii and M. testudineum (two), and secondarily due to clinical signs of upper respiratory tract disease (URTD). Group 2 consisted of two tortoises that were antibody-negative for Mycoplasma and had no clinical signs of URTD, but did have other signs of illness. Of the Group 1 tortoises, M. testudineum, but not M. agassizii, was amplified by polymerase chain reaction and DNA fingerprinted from two tortoises. Using light microscopy, mild to severe pathologic changes were observed in one or more histologic sections of either one or both nasal cavities of each tortoise in Group 1. Our findings support a causal relationship between M. testudineum and URTD in desert tortoises.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Mycoplasma testudineum in free-ranging desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii
Series title Journal of Wildlife Diseases
DOI 10.7589/2011-09-256
Volume 48
Issue 4
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Wildlife Disease Association
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 6 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Wildlife Diseases
First page 1063
Last page 1068
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial Mojave Desert
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