Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Reptiles

Sunshinevirus infection

Contributor(s): Robert Johnson, Mark Naguib

Introduction

  • Cause: Reptile Sunshinevirus 1.
  • Signs: neurorespiratory, non-specific signs.
  • Diagnosis: PCR testing, histopathology.
  • Treatment: none.
  • Prognosis: poor.
Print off the Owner Factsheet on Respiratory conditions in snakes to give to your clients.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Reptile Sunshinevirus 1 (sometimes referred to as Sunshine Coast virus):
  • Initially considered a distince subfamily within the Paramyxoviridae family, a taxonomic review in 2016 elevated it to its own family Sunviridae, within the Mononegavirales.
    • Order: Mononegavirales.
    • Family: Paramyxoviridae
    • Genus: Sunshinevirus.
    • Species: Reptile Sunshinevirus 1.

Predisposing factors

General

Specific

  • Sunshinevirus is thought to be spread by aerosol and contact.
  • Clinical signs vary and may be non-specific.

Pathophysiology

  • Neurorespiratory disease; spongiosis of the hindbrain and occasionally interstitial pneumonia Pneumonia.
  • Transmission likely to occur via oral secretions, aerosol and cloacal excretions.
  • Isolated virus from blood so there is a possibility of transmission via blood sucking ectoparasites from snake to snake.
  • Some evidence exists for vertical transmission.

Timecourse

  • The incubation period of Sunshinevirus in naturally acquired infections is unknown.
  • There is little information available about the duration of infection.
  • Snakes with initial skin signs that tested positive remained positive for months to several years after resolution of signs; two of these snakes later developed neurological signs.
  • Sunshinevirus PCR positive snakes may develop neurological signs after remaining symptomless for months to several years.

Epidemiology

  • Shedding patterns of Sunshinevirus are unknown.
  • There are no published controlled studies to support any claims regarding the existence of persistently-infected shedding state or of snakes that mount an appropriate immune response and have cleared the infection.
  • It is reasonable to assume that Sunshinevirus can be transmitted between snakes by both oral secretions and cloacal excretions. There is a report of evidence of vertical transmission of Sunshinevirus in a colony.
  • The incubation period of Sunshinevirus in naturally acquired infections is unknown.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Hyndman T H & Johnson R S P (2015) Evidence for the vertical transmission of Sunshine virus. Vet Microbiol 175 (2-4), 179-184 PubMed.
  • Hyndman T H, Shilton C M & Marschang R E (2103) Paramyxoviruses in reptiles: A review. Vet Micro 165 (3-4), 200-213 PubMed.
  • Hyndman T H, Shilton C M, Doneley R J & Nicholls P K (2012) Sunshine virus in Australian pythons. Vet Micro 161 (1-2), 77-87 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Baron H & Phalen D N (2018) Diseases of the Nervous System. In: Reptile Medicine and Surgery in Clinical Practice. Eds: Doneley R, Monks D, Johnson R & Carmel B. Wiley-Blackwell, UK. pp 331-344.
  • Hyndman T & Marschang R E (2018) Infectious Diseases and Immunology. In: Reptile Medicine and Surgery in Clinical Practice. Eds: Doneley R, Monks D, Johnson R & Carmel B. Wiley-Blackwell, UK. pp 197-216.
  • Johnson R & Hyndman T (2014) Sunshine and Blisters. In: Proc Australian Veterinary Association Conference.
  • Jacobson E R (2007) Viruses and Viral Diseases of Reptiles. In: Infectious Diseases and Pathology of Reptiles. Ed: Jacobson E R. CRC Press, USA. pp 395-460.

Organisation(s)

  • Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians. Website: www.arav.org.


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