Research Article
Volume 5 Issue 11 - 2020
Some Aspects of the Ascarid Parasitism in Rattlesnakes (Crotalus durissus)
Castro RA1, Marigo J2, Loibel SMC3 and Kathleen Fernandes Grego1*
1Laboratory of Herpetology, Instituto Butantan, Avenida Vital Brazil, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2Department of Pathology, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecina, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, Brazil
3Universidade Estadual Paulista, DEMA/IGCE, Campus Rio Claro, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil
*Corresponding Author: Kathleen Fernandes Grego, Laboratory of Herpetology - Instituto Butantan, Avenida Vital Brazil, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
Received: August 24, 2020; Published: October 09, 2020


Background: Snakebite accidents are a public health problem in tropical countries and are listed as a tropical neglected disease by the World Health Organization (WHO). Annually, around 20,000 snakebites occur in Brazil and although the species Crotalus durissus is responsible for only 10% of the registered snakebite accidents, it has the highest fatality rate (around 1%). The maintenance of snakes in captivity has become an alternative for obtaining venom for the production of antivenom serum and immunological researches since the 20th century. Snakes coming from nature are usually subjected to various stressors related to captivity and their health conditions can worsen if simple prophylactic management, as deworming, are not performed.

Objectives: This study aimed to determine some aspects of the parasitism by ascarids nematodes in C. durissus specimens; correlate the findings with corticosterone plasma levels; and determine if parasitized animals are more stressed ​​than non-parasitized ones.

Methods: A total of 12 rattlesnakes with and without ascarids had their blood withdrawn to evaluate biochemical and hematological parameters, and to determine plasma corticosterone.

Results: Snakes with ascarids presented higher corticosterone basal values, than dewormed animals, showing they were more stressed and, consequently, more susceptible to infections than animals free from ascarids. After the experiment, the rattlesnakes were euthanized to determine macroscopic and histhopatologic findings. Parasitized snakes showed more histopathological alterations, than dewormed ones.

Conclusion: Preventive medicine, hematological and fecal analysis, and adequate husbandry environment are important issues to keep snakes in healthy and welfare conditions to ensure specimen survival and longevity.

Keywords: Nematodes; Parasites; Ascarids; Stress; Captivity


  1. Oliveira RC., et al. “Epidemiologia dos acidentes por animais peçonhentos”. In: Cardoso JL, Haddad JV, França FOS, Wen FH, Malaque C, editors. Animais Peçonhentos no Brasil: biologia, clínica e terapeutica dos acidentes. 2nd edition, São Paulo: Sarvier (2009): 6-21.
  2. Selection and veterinary health care of animals used for production of antivenoms. In: Guidelines for the production, control and regulation of snake antivenom immunoglobulins”. Replacement of Annex 2 of WHO Technical Report Series 964 (2016).
  3. Sistema de Informação de Agravos de Notificação. Acidentes por animais (2018).
  4. Campbell J and Lamar WW. “The venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere”. 2nd Campbell J, Lamar WW, editors. New York: Comstock pub (2004).
  5. Melgarejo AR. “Serpentes Peçonhentas do Brasil”. In: In: Cardoso JL, Haddad JV, França FOS, Wen FH, Malaque C, editors. “Animais Peçonhentos no Brasil: biologia, clínica e terapeutica dos acidentes. 2nd edition, São Paulo: Sarvier (2009): 33-61.
  6. Jorge MT and Ribeiro LA. “The epidemiology and clinical picture of an accidental bite by the South American rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus)”. Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo4 (1992): 347-354.
  7. Azevedo-Marques MM., et al. “Animais Peçonhentos no Brasil: biologia, clínica e terapeutica dos acidentes”. In: Cardoso JL, Haddad JV, França FOS, Wen FH, Malaque C, editors. 2nd edition, São Paulo: Sarvier (2009): 91-98.
  8. Canter HM. “100 anos de Butantan”. In: 100 anos de Butantan (2000): 74.
  9. Heat KB. “Fatal parasitic anemia in a green vine snake”. Veterinary Medicine, Small animal clinician. 78.7 (1983): 1095-1096.
  10. Wellehan JFX and Walden HDS. “Parasitology (including hemoparasites)”. In: Divers SJ and Stahl SJ, editors. Mader’s Reptile and Amphibian Medicine Surgery. Saint Louis, Missouri (2019): 281-300.
  11. Kolesnikovas CKM., et al. “Microbiological findings in Brazilian rattlesnakes (Crotalus durissus)”. Boletín de la Asociación Herpetológica Española 1 (2001): 25-28.
  12. Francisco LR., et al. “Class Reptilia, Order Squamata (Ophidia): Snakes”. In: Fowler M and Cubas ZS, editors. Biology, Medicine, and Surgery of South American Wild Animals. Iowa state university press (2001): 40-50.
  13. Rataj AV., et al. “Parasites in pet reptiles”. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 53 (2011): 33.
  14. Wilson SC and Carpenter JW. “Endoparasitic disease of reptiles”. Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine 2 (1996): 64-74.
  15. Sprent JFA. “Studies on ascaridoid nematodes in pythons: speciation of Ophidascaris in the Oriental and Australian regions”. Parasitology 59 (1969): 937-959.
  16. Frye F. “Biomedical and surgical aspects of captive reptiles husbandry”. Krieger Pulblishing Company, Flórida (1991).
  17. Anderson RC. “Nematode parasites of vertebrates: their development and transmission”. 2nd Wallingford, England: CAB International (2000): 650.
  18. , et al. “Nematode parasites of the neotropical rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus Linnaeus, 1758 (Ophidia, Viperidae) from Brazil: new records and general aspects” (2010).
  19. Castilho VLP., et al. “Exame parasitológico quantitativo das fezes: estudo comparativo entre os métodos de McMaster, Stoll-Hausheer e Kato-Katz”. Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical 4 (1984): 209-212.
  20. Urquhart GM., et al. “Parasitologia Veterinária”. 2nd Monteiro SG, ed. Santa Maria (RS), Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (2007).
  21. Grego KF. “Determinação dos níveis séricos de corticosterona e hormônios esteroides sexuais, induzidos pelo estresse da contenção física e da extração de veneno, em Bothrops jararaca (Ophidia: Viperidae) [dissertation]”. São Paulo (SP): Universidade de São Paulo (2006).
  22. Sapolsky RM., et al. “How do glucocorticoids influence stress response? Integrating permissive, suppressive, stimulatory, and preparative actions”. Endocrinology Review 21 (2000): 55-89.
  23. Sambrook J., et al. “Molecular Cloning: A laboratory manual”. 2nd Cold spring harbor laboratory press. New York: Soft Cover (1989).
  24. Dzido J., et al. “Selected mitochondrial genes as species markers of the Artic Contracaecum osculatum complex”. Journal of Helminthology2 (2012): 252-258.
  25. Timi JT., et al. “Molecular identification, morphological characterization and new insights into the ecology of larval Pseudoterranova cattani in fishes from the Argentine coast with its differentiation from the Antarctic species, decipiens sp. E (Nematoda: Anisakidae)”. Veterinary Parasitology 199.1-2 (2014): 59-72.
  26. Zhu X., et al. “Assessing sequence variation in the intestinal transcribed spacers of ribosomal DNA within and among members of the Contracaecum osculatum complex (Nematoda: Ascaridoidea: Anisakidae)”. Parasitology Research8 (2000): 677-683.
  27. Hall TA. “BioEdit: a user-friendly biological sequence alignment editor and analysis program for Windows 95/98/NTNucleic Acids Symposium Series” (1999).
  28. Tamura K., et al. “Mega 6: Molecular evolutionary genetics analysis version 6.0”. Molecular Biology and Evolution 12 (2013): 2725-2729.
  29. Grego KF., et al. “Comparative pathology of parasitic infections in free-ranging and captive pit vipers (Bothrops jararaca)”. Veterinary Records18 (2004): 559-562.
  30. Rataj AV., et al. “Parasites in pet reptiles”. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica1 (2011): 33.
  31. Davis JR., et al. “Snake parasitism in an urban old-growth forest”. Urban Ecosystems 15 (2012): 739-752.
  32. Uhrig EJ. “Reproductive implications of parasitic infections and immune challenges in garter snakes”. Oregon State University (2015).
  33. Tokarz RR., et al. “Stress and reproduction in reptiles. Hormones and reproduction of vertebrates”. Academic Press (2011): 169-213.
  34. Rataj AV., et al. “Parasites in pet reptiles”. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica1 (2011): 33.
  35. Martínez S. “How to assess stress in reptiles”. Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine3 (2014): 240-243.
  36. Jacobson ER. “Parasites and parasitic diseases of reptiles”. In: Jacobson E, ed. Infectious Diseases and Pathology of Reptiles. 1st edition. Boca Raton: Taylor and Francis Group (2007): 731.
  37. Pinto RM., et al. “Nematodes parasites of the neotropical rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus Linnaeus, 1758 (Ophidia, Viperidae) from Brazil: new records and general aspects”. Neotropical Helminthology2 (2010): 137-147.
  38. Arena PC and Warwick C. “Miscellaneous factors affecting health and welfare”. In: Health and welfare of captive reptiles (1995): 263-283.
  39. Xuereb A., et al. “Relation between parasitism, stress, and fitness correlates of the Eastern foxsnake (Pantherophis gloydi) in Ontario”. Journal of Herpetology4 (2012): 555-561.
  40. Carvalho MPN. “Functional analysis of peripheral blood leucocytes of snakes (Boidae and Viperidae) during the process of adaptation to captivity [dissertation]”. São Paulo (SP); Universidade de São Paulo, (2018).
  41. Duguy R. “Numbers of blood cells and their variation”. Biology of the Reptilia 3 (1970): 93-109.
  42. Troiano JC., et al. “Haematological reference intervals of the South American rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus terrificus, Laurenti, 1768) in captivity”. Comparative Haematology International 2 (1997): 109-112.
  43. Zanotti LCRA. “Aspectos hematológicos, bioquímicos, morfológicos e citoquímicos de células sangüíneas em Viperídeos neotropicais dos gêneros Bothrops e Crotalus mantidos em cativeiro. Tese de Doutorado”. Universidade de São Paulo (2007).
  44. Redrobe S and MacDonald J. “Sample collection and clinical pathology of reptiles”. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice3 (1999): 709-730.
  45. Almosny NRP and Monteiro ADO. “Patologia clínica. Tratado de Animais Selvagens: medicina veterinária”. Roca, São Paulo (2007): 939-966.
  46. Elbihari S and Hussein MF. “Ophidascaris filaria (Dujardin, 1845) from the African Rock Python, Python sebae, in the Sudan, with a note on associated gastric lesions”. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 9 (1973): 171-173.
  47. Brar RS., et al. “Maintaining rear-fanged snakes for venom production: an evaluation of mortality and survival rates for Philodryas olfersii and patagoniensis in captivity”. Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 18 (2012): 164-172.
  48. Mello EM., et al. “Gross and histologic features of gastritis due to Ophidascarisarndti in tropical rattlesnakes (Crotalus durissus)”. Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia 2 (2017): 415-421.
  49. Garcia D., et al. “Alterações patológicas causadas por nematoides parasitas de jararaca (Bothrops jararaca Wied, 1824) criadas em cativeiro. Pathological aspects of nematodes of jararaca (Bothrops jararaca) reared in captivity”. Revista Brasileira de Ciência Veterinária1-2 (2014).
  50. Wilson SC and Carpenter JW. “Endoparasitic diseases of reptiles”. Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine 5 (1996): 64-74.
Citation: Kathleen Fernandes Grego., et al. “Some Aspects of the Ascarid Parasitism in Rattlesnakes (Crotalus durissus)”.EC Veterinary Science 5.11 (2020): 58-72.

PubMed Indexed Article

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
LC-UV-MS and MS/MS Characterize Glutathione Reactivity with Different Isomers (2,2' and 2,4' vs. 4,4') of Methylene Diphenyl-Diisocyanate.

PMID: 31143884 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6536005

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
Alzheimer's Pathogenesis, Metal-Mediated Redox Stress, and Potential Nanotheranostics.

PMID: 31565701 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6764777

EC Neurology
Differences in Rate of Cognitive Decline and Caregiver Burden between Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Dementia: a Retrospective Study.

PMID: 27747317 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5065347

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
Will Blockchain Technology Transform Healthcare and Biomedical Sciences?

PMID: 31460519 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6711478

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
Is it a Prime Time for AI-powered Virtual Drug Screening?

PMID: 30215059 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6133253

EC Psychology and Psychiatry
Analysis of Evidence for the Combination of Pro-dopamine Regulator (KB220PAM) and Naltrexone to Prevent Opioid Use Disorder Relapse.

PMID: 30417173 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6226033

EC Anaesthesia
Arrest Under Anesthesia - What was the Culprit? A Case Report.

PMID: 30264037 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6155992

EC Orthopaedics
Distraction Implantation. A New Technique in Total Joint Arthroplasty and Direct Skeletal Attachment.

PMID: 30198026 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6124505

EC Pulmonology and Respiratory Medicine
Prevalence and factors associated with self-reported chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among adults aged 40-79: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007-2012.

PMID: 30294723 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6169793

EC Dental Science
Important Dental Fiber-Reinforced Composite Molding Compound Breakthroughs

PMID: 29285526 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5743211

EC Microbiology
Prevalence of Intestinal Parasites Among HIV Infected and HIV Uninfected Patients Treated at the 1o De Maio Health Centre in Maputo, Mozambique

PMID: 29911204 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5999047

EC Microbiology
Macrophages and the Viral Dissemination Super Highway

PMID: 26949751 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC4774560

EC Microbiology
The Microbiome, Antibiotics, and Health of the Pediatric Population.

PMID: 27390782 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC4933318

EC Microbiology
Reactive Oxygen Species in HIV Infection

PMID: 28580453 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5450819

EC Microbiology
A Review of the CD4 T Cell Contribution to Lung Infection, Inflammation and Repair with a Focus on Wheeze and Asthma in the Pediatric Population

PMID: 26280024 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC4533840

EC Neurology
Identifying Key Symptoms Differentiating Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from Multiple Sclerosis

PMID: 28066845 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5214344

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
Paradigm Shift is the Normal State of Pharmacology

PMID: 28936490 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5604476

EC Neurology
Examining those Meeting IOM Criteria Versus IOM Plus Fibromyalgia

PMID: 28713879 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5510658

EC Neurology
Unilateral Frontosphenoid Craniosynostosis: Case Report and a Review of the Literature

PMID: 28133641 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5267489

EC Ophthalmology
OCT-Angiography for Non-Invasive Monitoring of Neuronal and Vascular Structure in Mouse Retina: Implication for Characterization of Retinal Neurovascular Coupling

PMID: 29333536 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5766278

EC Neurology
Longer Duration of Downslope Treadmill Walking Induces Depression of H-Reflexes Measured during Standing and Walking.

PMID: 31032493 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6483108

EC Microbiology
Onchocerciasis in Mozambique: An Unknown Condition for Health Professionals.

PMID: 30957099 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6448571

EC Nutrition
Food Insecurity among Households with and without Podoconiosis in East and West Gojjam, Ethiopia.

PMID: 30101228 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6086333

EC Ophthalmology
REVIEW. +2 to +3 D. Reading Glasses to Prevent Myopia.

PMID: 31080964 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6508883

EC Gynaecology
Biomechanical Mapping of the Female Pelvic Floor: Uterine Prolapse Versus Normal Conditions.

PMID: 31093608 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6513001

EC Dental Science
Fiber-Reinforced Composites: A Breakthrough in Practical Clinical Applications with Advanced Wear Resistance for Dental Materials.

PMID: 31552397 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6758937

EC Microbiology
Neurocysticercosis in Child Bearing Women: An Overlooked Condition in Mozambique and a Potentially Missed Diagnosis in Women Presenting with Eclampsia.

PMID: 31681909 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6824723

EC Microbiology
Molecular Detection of Leptospira spp. in Rodents Trapped in the Mozambique Island City, Nampula Province, Mozambique.

PMID: 31681910 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6824726

EC Neurology
Endoplasmic Reticulum-Mitochondrial Cross-Talk in Neurodegenerative and Eye Diseases.

PMID: 31528859 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6746603

EC Psychology and Psychiatry
Can Chronic Consumption of Caffeine by Increasing D2/D3 Receptors Offer Benefit to Carriers of the DRD2 A1 Allele in Cocaine Abuse?

PMID: 31276119 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6604646

EC Anaesthesia
Real Time Locating Systems and sustainability of Perioperative Efficiency of Anesthesiologists.

PMID: 31406965 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6690616

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
A Pilot STEM Curriculum Designed to Teach High School Students Concepts in Biochemical Engineering and Pharmacology.

PMID: 31517314 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6741290

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
Toxic Mechanisms Underlying Motor Activity Changes Induced by a Mixture of Lead, Arsenic and Manganese.

PMID: 31633124 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6800226

EC Neurology
Research Volunteers' Attitudes Toward Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

PMID: 29662969 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC5898812

EC Pharmacology and Toxicology
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Alzheimer's Disease.

PMID: 30215058 [PubMed]

PMCID: PMC6133268

News and Events

July Issue Release

We always feel pleasure to share our updates with you all. Here, notifying you that we have successfully released the July issue of respective journals and the latest articles can be viewed on the current issue pages.

Submission Deadline for Upcoming Issue

ECronicon delightfully welcomes all the authors around the globe for effective collaboration with an article submission for the upcoming issue of respective journals. Submissions are accepted on/before July 19, 2022.

Certificate of Publication

ECronicon honors with a "Publication Certificate" to the corresponding author by including the names of co-authors as a token of appreciation for publishing the work with our respective journals.

Best Article of the Issue

Editors of respective journals will always be very much interested in electing one Best Article after each issue release. The authors of the selected article will be honored with a "Best Article of the Issue" certificate.

Certifying for Review

ECronicon certifies the Editors for their first review done towards the assigned article of the respective journals.

Latest Articles

The latest articles will be updated immediately on the articles in press page of the respective journals.