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Amphibians, reptiles and fish
An unusual presentation of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection in a Royal Python (Python regius)
  1. Iain Cope1,
  2. Nick Wheelhouse2,
  3. Ann Pocknell3,
  4. Mark Dagleish2 and
  5. Brian Summers4
  1. 1Department of Exotics, Cambridge Vet Group, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK
  2. 2Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3Finn Pathologists, Diss, UK
  4. 4The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 7TA, UK
  1. Correspondence to Iain Cope, iac007{at}


Chlamydia species are a relatively newly recognised and emerging pathogen in reptile species. Chlamydia pneumoniae has been reported to cause infections in several snake species, as well as other reptiles and amphibia, leading to granulomatous lesions in multiple organs, enteritis, pneumonia-like signs and generalised condition loss. In this case the snake presented with anorexia, severe loss of condition and the neurological sign of loss of its righting reflex. No pneumonia-like clinical signs were present. C pneumoniae was identified by PCR from the pooled viscera and as the causal agent of the splenitis by immunolocalisation within a splenic granuloma. This the first case report of C pneumoniae infection in a Royal Python and also of the neurological presentation that makes this case unusual. C pneumoniae should be included in the list of differentials for neurological disease in snakes.

  • Snakes
  • Chlamydia
  • Bacterial diseases
  • Viruses
  • Zoonoses
  • Neurology
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