Ongoing health assessment and prevalence of Chrysosporium in the Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus)

Matthew C Allender, Michael Joseph Dreslik, Daniel B. Wylie, Sarah J. Wylie, John W Scott, Christopher A Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the current rate of declines in global biodiversity, it is apparent that wildlife diseases are serving as additional threats to population declines and potentially species extinctions. Free-ranging Eastern Massasaugas (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) have been reported susceptible to numerous health threats, one of which is a fatal fungal dermatitis. In response to the occurrence of the fungal dermatitis, a health survey and disease investigation was conducted on Eastern Massasaugas near Carlyle, Illinois in 2011. We captured 38 Eastern Massasaugas from March to April 2011. Polymerase chain reaction assays were performed from swabs collected from the faces of 34 snakes. We obtained hematologic data for 31 individuals, plasma biochemical data for 24, and toxicological data for 18. There was no evidence of Chrysosporium in any of the samples. Hematologic and plasma biochemistry parameters were consistent with previous health studies in the Carlyle population. Elemental toxicologic investigation of the plasma indicated variable levels of lead, copper, selenium, strontium, tin, iron, and zinc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-102
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 27 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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