88 (5) pp 287

Boid inclusion body disease: the enigma unraveled?

Boid inclusion body disease is a worldwide occurring disease in boas and pythons. The identityof the etiological agent of the disease remained elusive for several decades. Recently however, contemporarydiagnostic methods and experimental studies delivered compelling proof that a group ofdivergent reptarenaviruses are the causative agents of BIBD. In contrast to what was initially thought,boid snakes can be persistent carriers of the viral disease without showing clinical signs. Althoughthe cause of BIBD has been demonstrated, the diagnosis of BIBD may be challenging depending onthe involved snake species, and the differentiation between comorbidities related to BIBD and clinicaldisease caused by concurrent disorders remains problematic. In this article, the course of BIBDinfection in boid snakes, the major differences that are encountered towards the diagnosis of BIBD inpythons versus boas and the overall management of BIBD in captive snake collections are described.

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