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A Severe Ranavirus Outbreak in Captive, Wild-Caught Box Turtles

Steven J. A. Kimble, April J. Johnson, Rod N. Williams, Jason T. Hoverman
EcoHealth 2017 v.14 no.4 pp. 810-815
Ranavirus, Terrapene, adaptive immunity, captive animals, clinical examination, mortality, nose, quantitative polymerase chain reaction
A Ranavirus outbreak in a captive population of wild-caught individuals was monitored using clinical evaluations and real-time PCR in 317 wild box turtles held in captivity during translocation. During the 2-year study period, the population experienced 71.6% mortality, suggesting that ranaviruses can rapidly attenuate populations. Wide variation in infection rate (7–94% per sampling period) was observed, which may have been driven by clearing and reinfection, adaptive immunity, or imperfect detection using noninvasive samples. Only nasal clinical signs were significantly related to infection status, and agreement among sample types was low. Subsequent to the initial outbreak, low mortality but high real-time PCR prevalence of Ranavirus was observed, suggesting that surviving individuals might be tolerant.