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Experimental Infection of Snakes with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola Causes Pathological Changes That Typify Snake Fungal Disease

Overview of attention for article published in mBio, December 2015
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (98th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (93rd percentile)

Mentioned by

news
9 news outlets
blogs
3 blogs
twitter
25 tweeters
facebook
4 Facebook pages
wikipedia
1 Wikipedia page
googleplus
1 Google+ user

Citations

dimensions_citation
62 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
120 Mendeley
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Title
Experimental Infection of Snakes with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola Causes Pathological Changes That Typify Snake Fungal Disease
Published in
mBio, December 2015
DOI 10.1128/mbio.01534-15
Pubmed ID
Authors

Jeffrey M. Lorch, Julia Lankton, Katrien Werner, Elizabeth A. Falendysz, Kevin McCurley, David S. Blehert

Abstract

Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emerging skin infection of wild snakes in eastern North America. The fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola is frequently associated with the skin lesions that are characteristic of SFD, but a causal relationship between the fungus and the disease has not been established. We experimentally infected captive-bred corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) in the laboratory with pure cultures of O. ophiodiicola. All snakes in the infected group (n = 8) developed gross and microscopic lesions identical to those observed in wild snakes with SFD; snakes in the control group (n = 7) did not develop skin infections. Furthermore, the same strain of O. ophiodiicola used to inoculate snakes was recovered from lesions of all animals in the infected group, but no fungi were isolated from individuals in the control group. Monitoring progression of lesions throughout the experiment captured a range of presentations of SFD that have been described in wild snakes. The host response to the infection included marked recruitment of granulocytes to sites of fungal invasion, increased frequency of molting, and abnormal behaviors, such as anorexia and resting in conspicuous areas of enclosures. While these responses may help snakes to fight infection, they could also impact host fitness and may contribute to mortality in wild snakes with chronic O. ophiodiicola infection. This work provides a basis for understanding the pathogenicity of O. ophiodiicola and the ecology of SFD by using a model system that incorporates a host species that is easy to procure and maintain in the laboratory. Skin infections in snakes, referred to as snake fungal disease (SFD), have been reported with increasing frequency in wild snakes in the eastern United States. While most of these infections are associated with the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, there has been no conclusive evidence to implicate this fungus as a primary pathogen. Furthermore, it is not understood why the infections affect different host populations differently. Our experiment demonstrates that O. ophiodiicola is the causative agent of SFD and can elicit pathological changes that likely impact fitness of wild snakes. This information, and the laboratory model we describe, will be essential in addressing unresolved questions regarding disease ecology and outcomes of O. ophiodiicola infection and helping to conserve snake populations threatened by the disease. The SFD model of infection also offers utility for exploring larger concepts related to comparative fungal virulence, host response, and host-pathogen evolution.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 25 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 120 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 1 <1%
South Africa 1 <1%
Unknown 118 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 20 17%
Student > Master 20 17%
Researcher 20 17%
Student > Bachelor 18 15%
Student > Doctoral Student 7 6%
Other 19 16%
Unknown 16 13%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 50 42%
Environmental Science 17 14%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 12 10%
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 12 10%
Medicine and Dentistry 4 3%
Other 6 5%
Unknown 19 16%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 109. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 27 February 2019.
All research outputs
#230,797
of 17,829,815 outputs
Outputs from mBio
#225
of 4,506 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#5,510
of 369,871 outputs
Outputs of similar age from mBio
#10
of 137 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,829,815 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 98th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 4,506 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 26.7. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 369,871 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 137 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its contemporaries.