A free-ranging adult female eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) was presented to the University of Tennessee in October 2003 because of suspected trauma and blindness. Physical examination revealed lethargy, clear ocular and nasal discharges, and white oral and laryngeal plaques. Intracytoplasmic inclusions within heterophils and large mononuclear leukocytes were observed on routine blood smear examination. Postmortem findings included necrosis of epithelial and parenchymal cells with intracytoplasmic inclusions. Ultrastructurally, the leukocyte inclusions consisted of variably electron-dense granular material and viral particles consistent with the Iridoviridae family of viruses. The virus shared 100% sequence identity to a 420-base pair sequence of frog virus 3 (family Iridoviridae, genus Ranavirus) as determined by polymerase chain reaction and gene sequencing targeting a portion of the Ranavirus major capsid protein gene.
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Vol. 42 • No. 3