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Confirmed cases of snake fungal disease in historical museum specimens

April 21, 2021

Snake fungal disease (SFD) represents a conservation threat to wild snake populations. The disease was reported in North America early in the 21st century, but the history of SFD has not been investigated. We examined museum specimens and confirmed cases of SFD based on clinical signs, histopathologic lesions, and detection of the causative agent Ophidiomyces ophidiicola. The first confirmed cases of SFD in these specimens was >50 years prior to the disease�s reported emergence.