Intrapericardial Encephalitozoon pogonae–associated arteritis with fatal hemopericardium in two juvenile central bearded dragons

Arno Wünschmann, Aníbal G. Armién, April L. Childress, James F.X. Wellehan, Federico Giannitti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two male juvenile central bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) were submitted for postmortem examination after dying at their respective homes. Dragon 1 had marked hemopericardium with restrictive epicarditis. The inner aspect of the distended pericardial sac was lined by a fibrinoheterophilic membrane. In addition, granulomas abutted the testes. Dragon 2 had acute hemopericardium and granulomatous arteritis of the great vessels exiting the heart. Histologically, both animals had granulomatous arteritis of the large arteries with intrahistiocytic gram-positive, slightly elongated, up to 2 μm long microorganisms that contained a vacuole. These microorganisms were also present in the paratesticular granulomas. On transmission electron microscopy, the microorganisms were identified as microsporidians given the presence of exospore, endospore, vacuole, nucleus, and a filament with 4–6 coils. The microsporidia were identified as Encephalitozoon pogonae based on sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer 1 of the ribosomal RNA genes. Microsporidia are agents of disease in bearded dragons. Intrapericardial arteritis of large arteries with hemopericardium or restrictive epicarditis is a fatal manifestation of this infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-470
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2019

Keywords

  • Encephalitozoon pogonae
  • arteritis
  • bearded dragons
  • hemopericardium
  • microsporidian

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Journal Article

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