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Comparative pathology of parasitic infections in free-ranging and captive pit vipers (Bothrops jararac)
  1. K. Fernandes Grego, DVM, MSc1,
  2. C. H. Gardiner, PhD2 and
  3. J. L. Catão-Dias, DVM, PhD3
  1. 1 Instituto Butantan - Laboratório de Herpetologia, Av Dr Vital Brasil 1500, São Paulo, CEP 05503-900, Brazil
  2. 2 Registry of Veterinary Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington DC 20306, USA
  3. 3 Departamento de Patologia, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia da Universidade de São Paulo, Av Professor Orlando Marques Paiva 87, Sao Paulo, SP, CEP 05508-000, Brazil
  1. Dr Catão-Dias is also at the Fundação Parque Zoológico de Sao Paulo, Av Miguel Estefano 4241, São Paulo, SP, CEP 04301-095, Brazil


Between June 1997 and May 1998,47 pit vipers (Bothrops jararaca) (Group A) were euthanased when they were brought to the Instituto Butantan by farmers, and examined postmortem; during the same period, 91 snakes of the same species (group B) were examined after they had died in an outdoor serpentarium. The majority of the parasites encountered were nematodes; lungworms, Rhabdias vellardi, and the intestinal hookworm Kalicephalus inermis were the most common. Some of the snakes in group A were heavily infested, but their lesions were mild, whereas in group B the parasites were generally accompanied by severe lesions. The parasites with a direct life cycle were more common than those with obligatory intermediate hosts, and the snakes were more commonly infected during the hotter and more humid seasons.

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