Emydid herpesvirus 1 infection in northern map turtles (Graptemys geographica) and painted turtles (Chrysemys picta)

Robert J. Ossiboff, Alisa L. Newton, Tracie A. Seimon, Robert P. Moore, Denise McAloose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A captive, juvenile, female northern map turtle (Graptemys geographica) was found dead following a brief period of weakness and nasal discharge. Postmortem examination identified pneumonia with necrosis and numerous epithelial, intranuclear viral inclusion bodies, consistent with herpesviral pneumonia. Similar intranuclear inclusions were also associated with foci of hepatocellular and splenic necrosis. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening of fresh, frozen liver for the herpesviral DNA-dependent DNA polymerase gene yielded an amplicon with 99.2% similarity to recently described emydid herpesvirus 1 (EmyHV-1). Molecular screening of turtles housed in enclosures that shared a common circulation system with the affected map turtle identified 4 asymptomatic, EmyHV-1 PCR-positive painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) and 1 asymptomatic northern map turtle. Herpesvirus transmission between painted and map turtles has been previously suggested, and our report provides the molecular characterization of a herpesvirus in asymptomatic painted turtles that can cause fatal herpesvirus-associated disease in northern map turtles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-395
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 6 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Alphaherpesvirus
  • Scutavirus
  • emydid
  • pneumonia
  • reptiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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