Illinois researchers tackle mysterious snake disease
Posted April 12
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A team of researchers at the University of Illinois is targeting a mysterious disease that afflicts more than a dozen snake species in at least 15 states.
The team is led by Dr. Matt Allender, who teaches veterinary clinical medicine at the university. He and his colleagues at the Illinois Natural Historical Survey are working to understand and treat the fungal ailment.
The researchers found that the disease causes dermatitis in both wild and captive snakes and may threaten some endangered species.
Allender and his team are already experimenting with one antifungal treatment and continue to study others. Collaborators in nine states are sending them samples and helping to test potential cures.
They have also determined the disease first appeared here in 2000 by examining museum specimens of Illinois rattlesnakes.