Anyone Know of Breeders Who Test for IBD and Adenovirus?

I’ve had various people warn me about making sure breeders know if this is in their collection or not as it can be quite deadly. But this isn’t something breeders advertise. Does anyone know of breeders who test for IBD and Adenovirus?

Thanks for the help in advance!

FYI, snakes cannot be tested for IBD until they are dead. No living collection can be tested for IBD, it is something you test for when a snake has died with IBD-like symptoms. As far as adenovirus, only a few breeders actually test for this and they usually advertise it when they do. If your breeder does not advertise his or her snakes as being from tested, adenovirus free parents, chances are they have not been tested. But it doesn’t hurt to ask the breeder if their animals are tested. However, the answer will almost always be no.

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That is not correct. There is a qPCR test available that can be used on drawn blood for diagnosis


Yes, you can have a PCR test done.
The catch is having a vet do the test, and send it to a good lab.

There are a few labs out that do not have very good quality control.

You can usually tell these labs, because of the price.

I have been having my tests sent to the University of Florida.

Usually IBD is more of a concern for boas.
Boas can carry the reptarenavirus for most of there lives, and show 0 symptoms.

When a python is infected, it is much more rapid and devastating.

I have been hearing a lot about nidovirus in pythons.

So, testing is a possibility, but good luck finding many people who even know a test is out there, or people that do it.

It is a major problem in the boa comunity. :frowning:

Both can be done but it is not cheap by any mean expecting a breeder to test 200 hatchlings or more for example would not be very realistic, the cost could be passed on to the customer but some are already reluctant to pay $55 for shipping.

If we go by that would you expect a breeder to test for OPMV (left that one out and it is a major one too) and also get a fecal done and a culture done prior to a sale as well and everything else in between?

Those IMO fall on the buyer as part of quarentine procedures if they have any doubts, at least those would be my expectation as buyers.

The truth is those viruses may or may not be as wide spread in collection (we don’t know) however what is wide spread (and I have seen that a lot over the years) is people jumping the gun any strange behavior on an animals parts and people will google symptom imagining the worse.

The key when buying an animal is buying from a reputable breeder and have strong quarantine procedures.


Maybe it is different because we are talking about pythons specifically, but if you are talking about the disease in relation to boas, most of that isn’t accurate.

But, sense this was posted in the BP category, I’ll just sit back and help where I can.


Now 2 things I will address there is a test for IBD the times of only being able to diagnosed post mortem is behind us since 2014 thank to Dr Jacobson.

The other thing that must be addressed and can be verified with DR Jacobson himself is contrary to some old information animals including pythons do not always succumb quickly and can be asymptomatic for a long period of time. (the old belief was to keep a BP in a boa collection which is now outdated information)

Ultimately what I mentioned previously and the mass hysteria often seen with those 3 letters still stands. :wink:


Yes, some breeders test their breeding stock, though I’m not aware of any that test their babies. IBD in boas can go years without detection, whereas in BPs it shows up pretty quickly–when it first became a concern in the early 2000s there were several boa breeders that started keeping BPs around their boas as a sort of ‘canary-in-the-coal-mine’. In general, while adenovirus can be an issue, like IBD it is uncommon and usually diagnosed post-mortem.

Like I said earlier, my experience with the reptarenavirus is with boas, but it sucks to know it can be just as tricky with some pythons as well.

When dealing with this disease with animals who can be carriers with no symptoms like with boas, is quarantining does no good.

You can quarantine the animal, but
it may be years (if ever) before it shows a sign. No one quarantines that long. lol

This is why it is important to test to get a handle on this problem IMO.

You can’t just look at animals, or buy from a big breeder and assume the animal is negative, because if animals show no symptoms without testing, sadly you just can’t tell.

Another thing you will quickly learn is talking to Doctors about this will give you one way of looking at it, and talking to breeders will tell you it’s no big deal.
It is a crap shoot to be sure.

This is, unfortunately, part of the hobby. We’re going on some 50 years of IBD now.

There was an antibody test for IBD developed some 5 years ago, iirc, at the University of Florida (which already got a mention). IBD (thankfully) does not survive for long outside of a carrier. As the hobby got better about mites, ticks, and (by proxy) food item sourcing/freezing the IBD transmissions went down. Snakes, including pythons, can carry IBD. Pythons don’t last long.

Nidovirus is much heartier outside of the body but there are also tests for that. Adenoviruses is a family and not a single virus. There isn’t just one test and usually the disease is diagnosed by symptoms-only, afaik.

Generally snakes are housed alone without bedding or other items shared and most keepers are using home grown or frozen food stock instead of externally sourced live. General sanitary measures (hand sanitizer, washing between handling, etc) have improved, as well. An entire collection crashing is possible but you don’t hear about it happening nearly as often as a couple of decades ago.

One of the things that always drives up the cost of these tests is the lack of people committed to getting them done. There are enough reptile owners today to boost reptile care across the industry tremendously… but the average person will tell you horror stories from 20 years ago. Even worse, there’s a current YouTube celebrity pushing that reptile veterinary medicine is useless trash… and that’s why you should send them unhealthy animals to resell. :scream: I’ve had my share of vets look at the vent of an animal :+1: for $200, which is a huge waste of everyone’s time, but that doesn’t mean there are not qualified individuals out there.

I believe Brian Kusko has a video where he performs the nidovirus sampling from a kit on one of his snakes. I can’t say if that suggests Freedom Breeder actively tests but he might be worth reaching out to if you’re really interested. Other breeders like Kevin McCurley have released information, as well.

ARAV has a directory of veterinarians you could try to locate and speak to for more information. The directory is kind of outdated and not inclusive of all of the vets in an area, in my experience. Still worth a visit if you want to try to find a local vet.

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Just as a small clarification, Nido is also a family of viruses and not one specific virus.

Pia and Cody Bartolini are probably one of the best sources out there in terms of Nido knowledge. Pia is directly involved in research going on with the virus and is also part of Fishhead Diagnostics which is the group that offers the tests:


I test all my breeders and babies for adeno and Nido virus and all my breeders have been tested for IBD.

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