Emerging snake fungal disease in Europe
Snake fungal disease, caused by Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, is an emerging disease that has affected over 30 different species of wild snakes in North America. However, a new study led by scientists at Zoological Society of London (ZSL), UK, demonstrates that the fungus has made its way to Europe. After screening wild snakes’ moulted skins in the UK and Czech Republic, the team were able to identify the presence of O. ophiodiicola, although DNA sequencing suggested that they are novel strains to the US-based fungus. The researchers note that further investigation is needed to understand the impact of the pathogen in European snakes.