Nine of 74 American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from a captive Florida herd of 3–4-m-long, 200–350-kg, adult males greater than 30 yr of age died within a 10-day period during 1995. Nonspecific clinical signs included anorexia, lethargy, muscle weakness, paraparesis, bilateral white ocular discharge, and various degrees of periocular, facial, cervical, and limb edema. Pneumonia, pericarditis, and arthritis were found on postmortem evaluation of the spontaneously dead and euthanatized alligators. Rapidly growing mycoplasmas were identified by culture, and mycoplasma nucleotide sequences were identified by polymerase chain reaction testing of fresh lung and synovial fluid from an affected alligator. Culture of banked frozen lung from necropsy specimens and fresh lung and fresh synovial fluid from newly affected alligators confirmed the presence of a new mycoplasma species in seven of eight individuals. Oxytetracycline was administered, but related deaths continued for 6 mo until only 14 of the initial alligators remained. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to detect antibody was developed, and the organism was transmitted experimentally to naive juvenile alligators, although the source of the organism, Mycoplasma sp. (ATCC 700619), has not been identified. The alligator isolate is a novel species in the mycoplasma family because its nucleotide sequence does not match those of over 75 characterized mycoplasma species. Such factors as population density, animal age, and mycoplasmal virulence likely contributed to the course of disease.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 31 • No. 3