Ten juvenile green pythons (Chondropython viridis) died or were euthanized shortly after having been illegally imported into Australia from Indonesia in 1998. Histologic examination of two of the three snakes that died revealed moderately severe chronic ulceration of the nasal mucosa and focal or periacinar degeneration and necrosis of the liver. In addition there was severe necrotizing inflammation of the pharyngeal submucosa accompanied by numerous macrophages, heterophils, and edema. An iridovirus was isolated in culture from several tissues and characterized by immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, enzyme-linked immunosorbent Assay, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis, restriction endonuclease digestion, and DNA hybridization. This is the first report of a systemic ranavirus infection in any species of snake and is a new member of the genus, Ranavirus.
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Vol. 38 • No. 2