Intranuclear coccidiosis of tortoises (TINC) has been described in association with systemic disease in various species of tortoises. TINC has been detected in numerous tortoises from the United States, but there are only a few reports from tropical tortoises in Germany and no reports from Asia. Using a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay, samples from 1,011 tortoises were screened for the presence of TINC. Samples originated from animals kept in captivity in Europe and in China. Coccidia were detected in a total of 27 chelonians (2.7%), including the first description of TINC in a marginated tortoise (Testudo marginata), Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni), African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata), and yellow-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis denticulatus). The highest percentage of positive animals was found in radiated tortoises (Astrochelys radiata). Although the percentage of positive animals was relatively low, this study demonstrates the global distribution of TINC in captive chelonians as well as expanding the known host range for these pathogens.
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