Systemic Amyloidosis in an African Tiger Snake (Telescopus semiannulatus)

R. E. Burns, P. M. Gaffney, K. P.R. Nilsson, A. G. Armién, A. P. Pessier

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4 Scopus citations


An adult male African tiger snake (Telescopus semiannulatus) was diagnosed with disseminated mycobacteriosis and a hepatic biliary cystadenocarcinoma. Histologically, the spleen was largely replaced by extracellular deposits of eosinophilic, fibrillar to hyaline material. Similar material was also present in the testicular interstitium and occasional blood vessel walls. This material was congophilic with strong green birefringence under polarized light and emitted fluorescence when bound to the luminescent-conjugated oligothiophene, h-FTAA, an amyloid binding probe. Ultrastructurally, deposits were composed of aggregates of haphazardly arranged, non-branching fibrils up to 8 nm in diameter and of indeterminate length. These findings all supported a diagnosis of amyloidosis, most likely amyloid A (AA) type based on concurrent inflammatory disease in this snake. However, immunohistochemistry for serum amyloid A was negative. There are only rare previous reports of amyloidosis in reptiles and many have been incompletely characterized. This case presents a thorough investigation into an occurrence of systemic amyloidosis in a snake, including a novel use of luminescent-conjugated oligothiophene binding in a reptile to confirm the diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-140
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Comparative Pathology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • African tiger snake
  • Congo red
  • amyloid
  • electron microscopy


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