Adenomatous hyperplasia of the mucous glands in captive Archey's frogs (Leiopelma archeyi)

Shaw, S.D., Berger, L., Harvey, C., Alley, M.R., Bishop, P.J., and Speare, R. (2017) Adenomatous hyperplasia of the mucous glands in captive Archey's frogs (Leiopelma archeyi). New Zealand Veterinary Journal, 65 (3). pp. 140-146.

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Aims: To describe the gross and light microscopic characteristics of skin lesions observed on the ventral skin of captive Archey's frogs (Leiopelma archeyi) between 2000 and 2012, and to investigate their occurrence, possible aetiology and association with survival.

Methods: Postmortem skin samples were obtained for histological evaluation from 37 frogs, with and without skin lesions, that died while in captivity at Auckland Zoo between 2000 and 2012. Four frogs with skin lesions were biopsied under general anaesthesia and samples used for both light and transmission electron microscopy. The records of 94 frogs held at the University of Otago and Auckland Zoo between 2000–2012 were reviewed, which included some frogs recently collected from the wild. Information about the occurrence of skin lesions, and mortality associated with skin lesions was collated.

Results: Grossly the skin lesions varied in appearance; most were circular, pale grey papules, which measured from <0.5–1.5 mm in diameter with no umbilication. The overlying epidermis was not fragile and there was no associated inflammation. Contents often appeared clear or semi-transparent. Lesions were located predominantly on ventral surfaces including trunk, thighs, lower legs and forearms, and gular region, but not on digits. The number ranged from single to multiple, often confluent lesions covering the entire ventral surface of the frog. Histologically the lesions consisted of enlarged proliferating mucous glands that expanded the dermis and elevated the epidermis. They were semi-organised, solid or occasionally cavitated acinar structures with central lumina which sometimes contained mucus. Nuclei showed moderate anisokaryosis and mitotic figures were uncommon. Transmission electron microscopy did not show any infectious agents. Between 2000 and 2012, skin lesions were recorded in 35/94 (37%) frogs. The size and location of skin lesions varied over time, with some resolving and sometimes reappearing. Skin lesions were not associated with an increased risk of death.

Conclusions: The skin lesions had the gross and microscopic characteristics of adenomatous hyperplasia of the dermal mucous glands.

Clinical relevance: The aetiology of this adenomatous hyperplasia is unknown, but factors associated with the captive environment are the most likely cause. This is the first description of adenomatous hyperplasia of the cutaneous mucous glands in amphibians.

Item ID: 46543
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1176-0710
Keywords: adenomatous hyperplasia, Archey's frog, amphibian, Leiopelma archeyi, mucous gland
Funders: James Cook University (JCU), New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine (NZCCM), New Zealand Department of Conservation (NZDC), University of Auckland (UA), University of Otago (UO)
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2016 04:24
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3009 Veterinary sciences > 300910 Veterinary pathology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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