Indian Journal of Animal Research

  • Chief EditorK.M.L. Pathak

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Indian Journal of Animal Research, volume 52 issue 12 (december 2018) : 1814-1817

Demonstration of parasitic fauna in Indian cobra (Naja naja) and Indian rock python (Python molurus) reared in a Biological Park of Karnataka, South India

Manjunatha Venkataravanappa, Manoranjan Rout, Sujay Suresh, Nirupama Jaisingh, Nikitha Salian
1Wild Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals, Bannerghatta Biological Park, Bannerghatta - 560 083, Bangalore, India
Cite article:- Venkataravanappa Manjunatha, Rout Manoranjan, Suresh Sujay, Jaisingh Nirupama, Salian Nikitha (2018). Demonstration of parasitic fauna in Indian cobra (Naja naja) and Indian rock python (Python molurus) reared in a Biological Park of Karnataka, South India. Indian Journal of Animal Research. 52(12): 1814-1817. doi: 10.18805/ijar.B-3431.
This study was carried out to investigate the parasitic fauna in Indian cobra (Naja naja) and Indian rock pythons (Python molurus) under captive condition in Bannerghatta Biological Park, Bangalore, Karnataka during 2015-2016. A total of 18 fecal samples from Indian cobra and 8 from Indian rock pythons were collected and screened. From 8 fecal samples of python, 7 were found positive for ova of Ophidascaris nematode, 4 for ova of Bothridia cestode and 3 for coccidian oocysts. From 18 fecal samples of Indian cobra, 5 were positive for Rhabdias ova and 1 for coccidian oocysts. Lung impression smear taken from one Indian cobra after necropsy and stained with Giemsa stain demonstrated Rhabdias larvated ova. From necropsy of 4 Indian rock pythons, granulomatous pneumonia in lungs, haemorrhages, edema, mucosal necrosis and thickening with nodule formation in large intestine was observed due to Ophidascaris nematode, while Bothridia tape worms caused severe congestion and hemorrhage of small intestinal mucosa as well as thickening of submucosa due to inflammatory reaction. Both Ophidascaris and Bothridia are highly pathogenic and cause mortality in Indian rock pythons. The Rhabdias infestation in Cobra though not much pathogenic, heavy infestation may lead to respiratory failure. Confinement induces stress and dysecdysis affecting the health of snakes under captivity. Probably the host diet (live feed) and the hygiene maintained in the enclosures are the most important determinants of the helminthic fauna of snakes. Careful examination of live feed and cleanliness in the enclosure supported by regular deworming can control the parasitic infections in snakes. 
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