Reptiles can harbor pathogenic microorganisms asymptomatically and serve as potential reservoirs of infection for humans, domestic animals, and other reptiles. Infectious diseases are also problematic for free-ranging reptile populations and are an important consideration in reptile reintroduction and translocation projects. There have been limited serologic studies of free-ranging reptiles for evidence of exposure to potential pathogens. In the present study, serum or plasma samples from five male and five female free-ranging Venezuelan anacondas (Eunectes murinus) were screened for antibodies to eastern, western, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses, vesicular stomatitis virus, ophidian paramyxovirus, 19 Leptospira interrogans serovars, and Cryptosporidium serpentes. Antibodies to these agents were not detected, or antibody titers were low and possibly nonspecific. These results for the limited number of anacondas surveyed suggest that they do not serve as significant reservoirs for these infectious agents at this location.
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Vol. 32 • No. 3