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Posted by T.B on February 23, 2003 at 19:43:10:
In Reply to: Cryptosporidiosis posted by SerpentGuy on February 23, 2003 at 18:17:25:
:What is the best test to get done to see if your snake has crypo? I have heard that it is a acid-fast test. BUT are they 100% accurate? The vets do an acid-fast test but i'm thinking that the oocycts won't be in all of the feces. So basically, How accureate are the acid fast tests.
Ron, there are a couple aspects to consider when testing for crypto in reptiles. One is the most sensitive and specific test and the other is the ideal specimen type. The acid-fast stain from a faecal is quite accurate if an experienced eye is performing the interpretation. It does not, however, differentiate between reptilian and mammalian crypto and as you noted oocysts are not always being shed. Testing on serial faecal samples is often required. A gastric lavage (wash) or biopsy would give better recovery of the organism but are obviously more invasive, stressful and expensive procedures. I believe that Antech, a large veterinary diagnostic lab performs immuno testing (Immuno fluorescent antibody) for crypto on reptile faecal samples but again I don't think that it is specific for reptilian crypto. They may also perform the more specific ELISA (enzyme linked immunoassay) but I'm not absolutely certain. I hope I haven't complicated your decision too much but rather given you a few diagnostic options to discuss with your vet.