Severe Necrotizing Myocarditis caused by Serratia marcescens Infection in an Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)

Jorge Del-Pozo, S. Girling, R. Pizzi, E. Mancinelli, R. W. Else

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This report provides the first account of the pathological changes associated with infection by Serratia marcescens in an adult male axolotl. The infection resulted in septicaemia with severe multifocal necrotizing myocarditis. The latter lesion evolved to cardiac rupture, haemopericardium and death resulting from cardiac, tamponade. This animal was exposed to higher than usual temperatures (24-25 degrees C) 2 weeks before the onset of disease and this may have resulted in immunocompromise and opportunistic bacterial infection. S. marcescens was isolated from the coelomic and pericardial cavity. Both isolates were identical and were resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics, but not to aminoglycosides or fluoroquinolones. The production of red prodigiosin pigment by the bacterium suggested an environmental origin. Overall, the clinical and histopathological presentation suggests that S. marcescens should be included in the list of aetiological agents of the 'red-leg'/bacterial dermatosepticaemia syndrome of amphibians. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-338
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Comparative Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011


  • axolotl
  • myocarditis
  • red-leg syndrome
  • septicaemia
  • Serratia marcescens

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