Tiger salamander

Scott A. Mischler smischler at cosmos.uvm.edu
Fri Mar 28 15:02:34 EST 1997

I am a lab animal vet with some problem salamanders.  

I have a researcher who is studying dissociated kidney "cultures".  In the
past month or so, he has been seeing strange "organisms" in his "cultures"
such that he can not 
keep them for more than a few days.  After several miscommunications as to
what I thought they could be, I saw them for myself under their high-dollar
phase contrast microscope.  The organism is about 1 to 1.5 microns in size
and is highly motile.  The organisms seem to group together on occasion to
form "colonies" about 5 microns in size.  The organisms are present
immediately following euthanasia of 
the tigers and dissociation of the kidney cells; so they appear to be in
the animals.  In addition, we tried some salamanders from an entirely
separate supplier... they too are "infected" with this organism.  Based on
size, I am guessing a motile bacteria... but what do I culture it on???
(researcher has ruled/out internal contamination!!)  In addition, the
researcher suggests that the salamanders don't appear as healthy as they
used too... and the "infected" ones appear to have paler coloration and a
distinctly curled tail ( I confirmed these suspicions).

Any suggestions?

I tried culturing in a nutrient broth at both 37 degrees and 4 degrees C, 
no growth in either tube.

Incidently, we also see a flagellated protozoan in these dissociated kidney
preps.  The researcher has seen these before and was not too concerned...
nonetheless, what kind of protozoan can be isolated out of the kidneys?

Thanks for all your help!

S. A. Mischler

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