Haematological, serum biochemical and serological features of platypuses with and without mycotic granulomatous dermatitis.

Joanne Connolly, David Obendorf, Richard Whittington

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine whether there are haematological, serum biochemical and serological differences between platypuses (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) with and without granulomatous dermatitis due to Mucor amphibiorum infection. An additional objective was to establish reference haematological and serum biochemical ranges for the species in Tasmania. Design: A clinicopathological and serological study. Animals: A total of 37 free-living adult platypuses captured from streams and clams in Northern Tasmania were used in the clinicopathological study. Twenty-seven were clinically normal and 10 had mycotic granulomatous dermatitis. A total of 22 platypuses (20 adult and 2 juvenile) were used for the serosurvey. Eighteen were captured from streams in Northern Tasmania, and four were submitted for necropsy. Results: Platypuses with mycotic ulcerative dermatitis had significantly smaller packed red cell volumes, haemoglobin concentrations, lymphocyte counts, serum cholesterol and calcium concentrations, and higher serum globulin and potassium concentrations than clinically normal animals. The lymphopenia and hyperkalaemia were thought to be clinically significant. Numbers of Trypanosoma binneyi in blood smears were similar between the two groups. Diseased platypuses had higher concentrations of serum antibody against Mucor amphibiorum as determined by ELISA compared to clinically normal platypuses. Conclusion: Platypuses affected by mycotic granulomatous dermatitis showed haematological and serum biochemical changes when compared to clinically normal animals from the same Tasmanian sites. A serological survey may be a useful method for detecting the prevalence of exposure to Mucor amphibiorum and humoral immunity in platypus populations both in Tasmania and the mainland of Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-813
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Veterinary Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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