Fecal smears of 90 snakes, 29 lizards, and 8 turtles and tortoises were tested for Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts and microsporidian spores. Microsporidian spores measured x̄ = 3.7 µm in length and x̄ = 2.3 µm in width and were present in feces of 19 snakes and 1 lizard (16%); 13 of these snakes also shed Cryptosporidium serpentis oocysts. The oocysts were numerous in all positive samples, whereas microsporidian spores were always sparse, irrespective if whether fecal samples contained the oocysts. Retrospective examination of reptile clinical records revealed that all animals shedding microsporidian spores died naturally due to diseases, pathologic conditions, and clinical problems or were killed due to severe cryptosporidiosis. The present study indicates that microsporidian infections in reptiles have the features of an opportunistic infection.
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