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Devriesea agamarum associated cheilitis in a North African spiny-tailed lizard (Uromastyx acanthinura) in Spain

Miguel Gallego, Carles Juan-Sallés, Tom Hellebuyck


An 11-year-old, male North African spiny-tailed lizard (Uromastyx  acanthinura) was presented with hyperkeratotic cheilitis. Based on clinical examination, histology and microbiological testing, Devriesea agamarum was identified as the causative agent of the dermal disorder. Moreover, an abundant culture of D. agamarum was obtained following sampling of the oral cavity. Cheilitis was present for three years in the spiny-tailed lizard and during the first year of that period the lizard was housed together with an ocellated lizard (Timon lepidus), an Algerian orange-tailed skink (Eumeces algeriensis) and a female U. acanthinura. The latter lizard showed signs of chronic dermatitis and had deceased approximately 2.5 years prior to initial presentation of the male dab lizard because of renal failure. The other cohabiting lizards showed no dermal lesions and D. agamarum could not be demonstrated following dermal, cloacal and oral sampling. Recurrence of the bacterial skin infection was observed following a first antimicrobial treatment. This was considered to result from failure to eliminate the bacterium from the treated dab lizard or re-infection from the environment or asymptomatic carriers. A second treatment, including disinfection of the enclosure with house-hold bleach 0.1%, weekly mechanical debridement of the crusty lesion and treatment with ceftazidime at 20 mg/kg intramuscularly every 72 hours for 57 days resulted in resolution of the skin lesions, elimination of D. agamarum from the oral cavity based on repetitive microbiological sampling and no recurrence of the lesions during a 31 month follow up period. The present case is the first report of devrieseasis in Spain and highlights the importance of a multidirectional diagnostic and therapeutic approach towards controlling devrieseasis in captive lizard collections. Several disease aspects such as persistency are discussed in the light of the contemporary available literature.

Keywords: Cheilitis, Dermatitis, Devriesea agamarum, Uromastyx acanthinura.
AJOL African Journals Online