Repeatability and variability of total T4 measurements at three German veterinary laboratories

Teresa Böhm; Christoph Klinger; Janine Classen1; Laura Udraite; Monika Linek; Ralf S. Mueller
Tierärztliche Praxis Kleintiere: Heft 6 2017 p. 2-7

Canine haemophilia A caused by a thymine to cytosine nucleotide exchange at nucleotide position 6217 in a Great Dane

Berliner und Münchener Tierärztliche Wochenschrift  2017 

DOI 10.2376/0005-9366-15121

(P. Alcaraz, A. Kehl, A. Cecil, S. Shityakov, T. Dandekar, E. Mueller, R. Mischke)


A male Great Dane was referred to the Small Animal Clinic, University of Veteri-nary Medicine Hannover at seven months of age with a known bleeding history. The dog was diagnosed with haemophilia A (factor VIII activity: 4%). To identify the underlying genetic defect responsible for haemophilia in the patient, the coding region and exon-intron boundaries of the canine factor VIII gene were analysed by polymerase chain reaction and electrophoresis. 25 Great Danes and 25 individuals of three different breeds each served as controls. Sequence analysis of exon 21 of the canine FVIII gene of the patient showed a thymine to cytosine nucleotide exchange at nucleotide position 6217, which results in a tryptophan to arginine exchange. None of the remaining dogs studied showed the mutation. Analysis using several protein models demonstrated that the altered amino acid is located in the C1 domain of the canine FVIII protein and results in a change of the protein structure. To the knowledge of the authors, this is the first known mutation of the factor VIII gene in a Great Dane associated with haemophilia A.

Detection of Mycoplasma spp., herpesviruses, topiviruses, and ferlaviruses in samples from chelonians in Europe

doi: 10.1177/1040638717722387

(Patricia Alcaraz Rodríguez, Alexandra Kehl, Alexander Cecil, Sergey Shityakov, Thomas Dandekar, Elisabeth Mueller, Reinhard Mischke)


We tested samples from 1,015 chelonians in Europe for Mycoplasma spp., herpesviruses, ranaviruses, picornaviruses, and ferlaviruses by PCR. Mycoplasma spp. were detected in 42.1% and herpesviruses were detected in 8.0% of tested chelonians. Differentiation of the herpesviruses revealed that 46.9% of the detected chelonian viruses were testudinid herpesvirus 1 (TeHV-1) and 54.3% were TeHV-3, including co-detections of TeHV-1 and -3 in 3 tortoises. TeHV-4 was detected in a leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis), and a herpesvirus that could not be further characterized was found in a pond slider (Trachemys scripta). Picornaviruses (topiviruses) were detected in 2.2% of the tested animals; ferlaviruses were found in 0.6%; no ranaviruses were detected in any of the animals tested. Mycoplasma spp. were detected significantly more often in Horsfield’s tortoises (Testudo horsfieldii), leopard tortoises, and Indian star tortoises (Geochelone elegans) than in other species. Horsfield’s tortoises were also significantly more often positive for TeHV-1. Mycoplasma and TeHV-1 were co-detected in 3.0%, and mycoplasma and TeHV-3 in 2.3%. The TeHV-4–positive tortoise was also positive for mycoplasma. Mycoplasma and picornaviruses were co-detected in 1.2% of the tortoises. A spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca) was positive for mycoplasma and a ferlavirus. In some cases, >2 pathogens were detected. A significant correlation between mycoplasma and herpesvirus detection was found. Of all tested animals, 47.6% were positive for at least one pathogen, demonstrating the importance of pathogen detection in captive chelonians.

Detection of intranuclear coccidiosis in tortoises in Europe and China

Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 48(2) 2017, p.328–334  

(Ekaterina Kolesnik,,Janosch Dietz,,Kim O. Heckers,,and Rachel E. Marschang,,Dipl.E.C.Z.M.(herpetology), F.T.Ä. Mikrobiologie,Z.B.Reptilien)


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.

Spontaneously Arising Tumours and Tumour-like Lesions of the Cervix and Uterus in 83 Pet Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus)

Journal of Comparative Pathology, Volume 156, Issue 4, May 2017, Pages 339–351

(C.Laik-Schandelmaier, R.Klopfleisch, S.Schöniger, G. Weiffenbach, M. Staudacher, H.Aupperle)


Tumours and tumour-like lesions are rare findings in the genital system of guinea pigs. The aim of the present study was to characterize nodular lesions in the cervix and uterus of guinea pigs submitted for histopathological diagnosis. Samples from 83 pet animals were investigated. Cases included 64 surgically excised masses including complete uteri (n = 37), parts from uteri containing masses (n = 8), complete masses (n = 12) or samples from masses (n = 7) and 19 complete necropsy examinations. In 55 of the cases, only solitary changes were observed; in 28 cases two or more lesions were diagnosed. Histopathological diagnoses included polyps in the vagina, cervix or uterus (n = 8), hyperplastic lesions of the endocervix (n = 10) and seven adenomas and two adenocarcinomas of the endocervix. Endometrial alterations included single small glandular cysts (n = 3), nodular glandular–cystic hyperplasia (n = 8), adenoma (n = 20) and adenocarcinoma (n = 3). Four placentas, 10 focal decidualizations and six deciduomas were found. Furthermore, 18 leiomyomas and nine leiomyosarcomas were diagnosed. Uterine malignant mixed Müllerian tumours were observed in seven cases. Overall, benign lesions outnumbered malignant tumours in the female genital tract of pet guinea pigs. Therefore, surgical excision or ovariohysterectomy should be recommended as therapy.

Immunologic responses in corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) after experimentally induced infection with ferlaviruses

American Journal of Veterinary Research, 2017 Apr;78(4): p. 482-494

(Neul A, Schrödl W, Marschang RE, Bjick T, Truyen U, von Buttlar H, Pees M.)


To measure immunologic responses of snakes after experimentally induced infection with ferlaviruses. 


42 adult corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) of both sexes. 


Snakes were inoculated intratracheally with genogroup A (n = 12), B (12), or C (12) ferlavirus (infected groups) or cell-culture supernatant (6; control group) on day 0. Three snakes from each infected group were euthanized on days 4, 16, 28, and 49, and 3 snakes from the control group were euthanized on day 49. Blood samples were collected from live snakes on days -6 (baseline), 4, 16, 28, and 49. Hematologic tests were performed and humoral responses assessed via hemagglutination-inhibition assays and ELISAs. Following euthanasia, gross pathological and histologic evaluations and virus detection were performed. 


Severity of clinical signs of and immunologic responses to ferlavirus infection differed among snake groups. Hematologic values, particularly WBC and monocyte counts, increased between days 4 and 16 after infection. A humoral response was identified between days 16 and 28. Serum IgM concentrations increased from baseline earlier than IgY concentrations, but the IgY relative increase was higher at the end of the study. The hemagglutination-inhibition assay revealed that the strongest reactions in all infected groups were against the strain with which they had been infected. Snakes infected with genogroup A ferlavirus had the strongest immune response, whereas those infected with genogroup B had the weakest responses. 


Results of this experimental study suggested that the ferlavirus strain with the highest virulence induced the weakest immune response in snakes.

Anti-Muellerian Hormone, inhibin A, gonadotropins and gonadotropin receptors in bull calves after partial scrotal resection, orchidectomy and Burdizzo castration

Theriogenology;january 2017,Vol. 87

(Dragos Scarlet, Christine Aurich, Natascha Ille, Ingrid Walter, Corinna Weber, Dagmar Pieler, Walter Peinhopf, Peter Wohlsein, Jörg Aurich)


Eight-week-old calves were either castrated by partial scrotal resection without removing the testes (SR; n=10), Burdizzo clamp (BZ; n=10), orchidectomy (OR; n=10), or were left gonad-intact as controls (CO; n=10). Concentrations of Anti-Muellerian hormone (AMH), inhibin A, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in plasma were determined from 16 to 48 weeks of age. At 18 months, testes of SR, BZ and CO bulls were obtained and the immunolocalization of LH and FSH receptors and AMH analysed. Concentration of AMH in plasma of CO and SR bulls decreased with increasing age (p<0.001). A similar AMH profile in CO and SR indicates that SR did not induce a true cryptorchid state. In groups OR and BZ, AMH was undetectable. Plasma inhibin concentration was higher in groups CO and SR than BZ and OR (p<0.001). Plasma LH and FSH concentrations decreased over time (p<0.001) and were higher in groups BZ and OR than SR and CO (p<0.001). In the testes, immunolabelling for AMH existed in Sertoli cells of CO and SR, but not BZ bulls. FSH receptors were localized in Sertoli cells, Leydig cells, spermatocytes and the epididymis of CO and SR animals, whereas LH receptors were restricted to Leydig cells. In BZ animals, FSH and LH receptors and AMH were absent, indicating complete testicular degeneration. In conclusion, AMH is a more reliable marker for the presence of testicular tissue in bulls than inhibin. Scrotal resection did not induce a true inguinal cryptorchid state but affected testicular responsiveness to gonadotropic stimulation.

Detection of nidoviruses in live pythons and Boas

Tierärztliche Praxis Kleintiere/Heimtiere 1/2017;45 S.22-26 

(Rachel E.Marschang; Ekaterina Kolesnik) 

English PDF version of the article


Nidoviruses have recently been described as a putative cause of severe respiratory disease in pythons in the USA and Europe. The objective of this study was to establish the use of a conventional PCR for the detection of nidoviruses in samples from live animals and to extend the list of susceptible species. Materials and methods: A PCR targeting a portion of ORF1a of python nidoviruses was used to detect nidoviruses in diagnostic samples from live boas and pythons. A total of 95 pythons, 84 boas and 22 snakes of unknown species were included in the study. Samples tested included oral swabs and whole blood. Results: Nidoviruses were detected in 27.4% of the pythons and 2.4% of the boas tested. They were most commonly detected in ball pythons (Python [P.] regius) and Indian rock pythons (P. molurus), but were also detected for the first time in other python species, including Morelia spp. and Boa constrictor. Oral swabs were most commonly tested positive.

TGF-β1 serum concentrations and receptor expressions in the lens capsular of dogs with diabetes mellitus

Open Veterinary Journal, (2017), Vol. 7(1): 12-15,  PDF

(Stephan Neumann, Jens Linek, Gerhard Loesenbeck, Julia Schüttler and Sonja Gaedke)


Tissue fibrosis as complication of diabetes mellitus is known in humans. Because TGF-β1induces fibrosis and is elevated in humans suffering from diabetes mellitus we measured this growth factor in serum of dogs with diabetes mellitus and compared it with healthy dogs and those with fibrotic diseases. Further we measured the expression of TGF-β1receptor on lens capsule to investigate possible association between diabetes mellitus and cataract associated alterations. TGF-β1 was measured in serum of 12 dogs with diabetes mellitus, 20 healthy controls and 12 dogs with fibrotic diseases. Dogs with diabetes mellitus and fibrotic diseases have significantly increased TGF-β1 serum concentrations compared to healthy controls. Some dogs with diabetes mellitus showed increased expression of TGF-β1 receptor in lens capsule. Based on our observations we can conclude that TGF-β1 elevation in dogs with diabetes mellitus may induces complications of the disease and may participates on lens alteration.