Devriesea agamarum is a Gram-positive bacterium that was first described in 2008 as a causative agent of disease in lizards. Until today, reports from several countries reported the presence of this bacterium in various lizard species, which suggests a wide distribution among lizard collections. Pathologic lesions ranged from proliferative dermatitis and cheilitis to abscesses in multiple organs and septicemia in single animals, as well as entire groups. Until now, disease caused by D. agamarum has been reported in several lizard species. Because the bacterium is only identified by 16S rRNA sequencing and no commercially available identification systems contain the agent in their database, it may be underdiagnosed. This report describes a series of fatal devrieseasis in plumed basilisks (Basiliscus plumifrons) and Chinese water dragons (Physignathus cocincinus) from a zoologic collection and extends the range of susceptible species. In 3 mo, five animals died with pyogranulomatous lesions in the subcutis, the coelomic cavity, or multiple organs. In all cases, diffuse swelling or focal skin elevations of different body parts were observed. Devriesea agamarum could be isolated from lesions in all animals. A subsequent clinical survey of the lizard collection including bacteriologic investigation of oral cavity swabs indicated that bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) were carriers of D. agamarum, which suggests that this species could be a source of infection with this pathogen.
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