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posted on 05.05.2021, 04:04 by God'spower Richard Okoh, Paul F. Horwood, David Whitmore, Ellen Ariel

Since the 1970s, several species of herpesviruses have been identified and associated with significant diseases in reptiles. Earlier discoveries placed these viruses into different taxonomic groups on the basis of morphological and biological characteristics, while advancements in molecular methods have led to more recent descriptions of novel reptilian herpesviruses, as well as providing insight into the phylogenetic relationship of these viruses. Herpesvirus infections in reptiles are often characterised by non-pathognomonic signs including stomatitis, encephalitis, conjunctivitis, hepatitis and proliferative lesions. With the exception of fibropapillomatosis in marine turtles, the absence of specific clinical signs has fostered misdiagnosis and underreporting of the actual disease burden in reptilian populations and hampered potential investigations that could lead to the effective control of these diseases. In addition, complex life histories, sampling bias and poor monitoring systems have limited the assessment of the impact of herpesvirus infections in wild populations and captive collections. Here we review the current published knowledge of the taxonomy, pathogenesis, pathology and epidemiology of reptilian herpesviruses.