First report of a successful treatment of a mucodegenerative disease in the chambered nautilus (Nautilus pompilius).

Research paper by Gregory J GJ Barord, Chenghui C Ju, Jennifer A JA Basil

Indexed on: 23 Oct '12Published on: 23 Oct '12Published in: Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians


A single Nautilus pompilius manifested a bacterial infection and nematode infestation soon after it was received from the wild, resulting in a significant buildup of mucus above the left eye and tentacles. This condition is known to lead to rapid mucodegeneration of the tentacles and epithelium, resulting in death. The specimen was quarantined 24 days after arrival. Initial topical treatments of 10% povidone solution were effective at slowing the progression of the mucus but did not eliminate it. After 26 days in quarantine, a new treatment regimen was developed that coupled a whole-animal dip in 25 mg/L oxytetracycline solution with the 10% povidone treatment on alternate days, for 5 days. After this treatment, mucus production ceased and nematodes were not present in tissue samples. The specimen was moved back to the original holding system after a quarantine period of 53 days.