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A Burmese python (Python bivittatus) was found dead in a petting zoo with no clinical signs and abnormalities observed prior to death. The carcass of the python was submitted to the Veterinary Research institute (VRI) for necropsy. External examination of the carcass revealed distortion of right mandible and presence of mucous in the oral cavity. Apart from very dried, wrinkled and sloughed off scales, there was also multifocal reddening of the belly. Postmortem findings noted include hydropericardium and cardiac muscle haemorrhages, pulmonary oedema and yellowish nodular lesion in the lungs (later identified as Pentastomer [Armilifer monoliformis]), haemorrhages and multifocal white spots in the liver, hydroperitoneum and presence of strings of fat tissue readily detached from the abdominal muscles, and haemorrhages in the ovaries. Various species of worms found attached to the stomach and along the intestines as well as on the serosal surface were identified as Polydelphis sp., Taenia taeniaformis and Protospirurura, respectively. Histopathological evaluation demonstrated evidence of haemorrhagic myocarditis with infiltration of mainly macrophages and parasitic cyts in the heart, while the lungs showed lesions such as pulmonary oedema accompanied by emphysema, congestion and presence of fibrin and thrombus. The liver showed extensive loss of hepatocyte architecture together with haemorrhages and evidence of thrombus, whereas the kidney showed presence of atrophied glomeruli and severe congestion in the blood vessels. There was also villous atrophy and presence of degenerated neutrophils and slight haemorrhages in the intestines, and multifocal haemorrhages and fibrin in the oviduct. Bacteriology result revealed high density of Pseudomonas aeroginosa colonies in all vital organs. The cause of death of the python was due to combination of bacterial infection (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and multiparasitic infestation (Polydelphis sp., Taenia taeniaformis, Protospirurura and Armilifer monoliformis). 

Keywords: bacterial infection, multiparastic infestation, histopathology, snake

Veterinary Research Institute, 59 Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 31400, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Corresponding Author: Norazura Abd A. Hamid





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Norazura A.H. Pseudomonas aeruginosa septicaemia and multiparasitic infestation in a Burmese Python.7th MAVP Scientific Conference 2015, Mahkota Hotel, Melaka


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