Mariana A, Vellayan S, Halimaton I and Ho TM (2011). Acariasis on pet Burmese python, Python molurus bivittatus in Malayia. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine 4(3): 227-228
ObjectiveTo identify the acari present on pet Burmese pythons in Malaysia and to determine whether there is any potential public health risk related to handling of the snakes. Methods Two sub-adult Burmese pythons kept as pets for a period of about 6 to 7 months by different owners, were brought to an exotic animal practice for treatment. On a complete medical examination, some ticks and mites (acari) were detected beneath the dorsal and ventral scales along body length of the snakes. Ticks were directly identified and mites were mounted prior to identification. Results A total of 12 ticks represented by 3 males, 2 females and 7 nymphal stages of Rhipicephalus sanguineus (R. sanguineus) were extracted from the first python while the other one was with 25 female Ophionyssus natricis (O. natricis) mesostigmatid mites. Only adult female mites were found. These mites are common ectoparasites of Burmese pythons. Conclusions Both the acarine species found on the Burmese pythons are known vectors of pathogens. This is the first record that R. sanguineus has been reported from a pet Burmese python in Malaysia.