WorldWideScience

Sample records for chytrid batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

  1. Chytrid Fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis , in Wild Populations of the Lake Titicaca Frog, Telmatobius culeus, in Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berenguel, Raul A; Elias, Roberto K; Weaver, Thomas J; Reading, Richard P

    2016-10-01

    The Lake Titicaca frog (Telmatobius culeus) is critically endangered, primarily from overexploitation. However, additional threats, such as chytrid fungus ( Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ), are poorly studied. We found moderate levels of chytrid infection using quantitative PCR. Our results enhance our understanding of chytrid tolerance to high pH and low water temperature.

  2. Presence of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Native Amphibians Exported from Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E.

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd), a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endemic amphibian species. Due to the presence of Bd in nearby continental Africa and the ecological crisis that can be expected following establishment in Madagascar, enhanced surveillance is imperative. I sampled 565 amphibians commercially exported from Madagascar for the presence of Bd upon importation to the USA, both to assist early detection efforts and demonstrate the conservation potential of wildlife trade disease surveillance. Bd was detected in three animals via quantitative PCR: a single Heterixalus alboguttatus, Heterixalus betsileo, and Scaphiophryne spinosa. This is the first time Bd has been confirmed in amphibians from Madagascar and presents an urgent call to action. Our early identification of pathogen presence prior to widespread infection provides the necessary tools and encouragement to catalyze a swift, targeted response to isolate and eradicate Bd from Madagascar. If implemented before establishment occurs, an otherwise likely catastrophic decline in amphibian biodiversity may be prevented. PMID:24599336

  3. Substrate-specific gene expression in Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the chytrid pathogen of amphibians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica Bree Rosenblum

    Full Text Available Determining the mechanisms of host-pathogen interaction is critical for understanding and mitigating infectious disease. Mechanisms of fungal pathogenicity are of particular interest given the recent outbreaks of fungal diseases in wildlife populations. Our study focuses on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, the chytrid pathogen responsible for amphibian declines around the world. Previous studies have hypothesized a role for several specific families of secreted proteases as pathogenicity factors in Bd, but the expression of these genes has only been evaluated in laboratory growth conditions. Here we conduct a genome-wide study of Bd gene expression under two different nutrient conditions. We compare Bd gene expression profiles in standard laboratory growth media and in pulverized host tissue (i.e., frog skin. A large proportion of genes in the Bd genome show increased expression when grown in host tissue, indicating the importance of studying pathogens on host substrate. A number of gene classes show particularly high levels of expression in host tissue, including three families of secreted proteases (metallo-, serine- and aspartyl-proteases, adhesion genes, lipase-3 encoding genes, and a group of phylogenetically unusual crinkler-like effectors. We discuss the roles of these different genes as putative pathogenicity factors and discuss what they can teach us about Bd's metabolic targets, host invasion, and pathogenesis.

  4. Presence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in rainwater suggests aerial dispersal is possible

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E.; Sara D. Ramirez,; Lee Berger,; Griffin, Dale W.; Merlijn Jocque,; Lee F. Skerratt,

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Global spread of the pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) may involve dispersal mechanisms not previously explored. Weather systems accompanied by strong wind and rainfall have been known to assist the dispersal of microbes pathogenic to plants and animals, and we considered a similar phenomenon might occur with Bd. We investigated this concept by sampling rainwater from 20 precipitation events for the presence of Bd in Cusuco National Park, Honduras: a site where high Bd prevalence was previously detected in stream-associated amphibians. Quantitative PCR analysis confirmed the presence of Bd in rainwater in one (5 %) of the weather events sampled, although viability cannot be ascertained from molecular presence alone. The source of the Bd and distance that the contaminated rainwater traveled could not be determined; however, this collection site was located approximately 600 m from the nearest observed perennial river by straight-line aerial distance. Although our results suggest atmospheric Bd dispersal is uncommon and unpredictable, even occasional short-distance aerial transport could considerably expand the taxonomic diversity of amphibians vulnerable to exposure and at risk of decline, including terrestrial and arboreal species that are not associated with permanent water bodies.

  5. Prevalence of the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, Arizona, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigafus, Brent H.; Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Schwalbe, Cecil R.

    2014-01-01

    Information on disease presence can be of use to natural resource managers, especially in areas supporting threatened and endangered species that occur coincidentally with species that are suspected vectors for disease. Ad hoc reports may be of limited utility (Muths et al. 2009), but a general sense of pathogen presence (or absence) can inform management directed at T&E species, especially in regions where disease is suspected to have caused population declines (Bradley et al. 2002). The Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis), a species susceptible to infection by the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) (Bradley et al. 2002), and the non-native, invasive American Bullfrog (L. catesbeianus), a suspected vector for chytridiomycosis (Schloegel et al. 2012, Gervasi et al. 2013), both occur at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) and surrounding lands in southern Arizona. Efforts to eradicate the bullfrog from BANWR began in 1997 (Suhre, 2010). Eradication from the southern portion of BANWR was successful by 2008 but the bullfrog remains present at the Arivaca Cienega and in areas immediately adjacent to the refuge (Fig. 1). Curtailing the re-invasion of the bullfrog into BANWR will require vigilance as to ensure the health of Chiricahua Leopard Frog populations.

  6. Amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in coastal and montane California, USA Anurans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellers, Gary M.; Cole, Rebecca A.; Reinitz, David M.; Kleeman, Patrick M.

    2011-01-01

    We found amphibian chytrid fungus (Bd = Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) to be widespread within a coastalwatershed at Point Reyes National Seashore, California and within two high elevation watersheds at Yosemite NationalPark, California. Bd was associated with all six species that we sampled (Bufo boreas, B. canorus, Pseudacris regilla, Ranadraytonii, R. sierrae, and Lithobates catesbeianus). For those species sampled at 10 or more sites within a watershed, thepercentage of Bd-positive sites varied from a low of 20.7% for P. regilla at one Yosemite watershed to a high of 79.6% forP. regilla at the Olema watershed at Point Reyes. At Olema, the percent of Bd-positive water bodies declined each year ofour study (2005-2007). Because P. regilla was the only species found in all watersheds, we used that species to evaluatehabitat variables related to the sites where P. regilla was Bd-positive. At Olema, significant variables were year, length ofshoreline (perimeter), percentage cover of rooted vegetation, and water depth. At the two Yosemite watersheds, waterdepth, water temperature, and silt/mud were the most important covariates, though the importance of these three factorsdiffered between the two watersheds. The presence of Bd in species that are not declining suggests that some of theamphibians in our study were innately resistant to Bd, or had developed resistance after Bd became established.

  7. Presence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in native amphibians exported from Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd), a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endemic amphibian species. Due to the presence of Bd in nearby continental Africa and the ecological crisis that can be expected following establishment in Madagascar, enhanced surveillance is imperative. I sampled 565 amphibians commercially exported from Madagascar for the presence of Bd upon importation to the USA, both to assist early detection efforts and demonstrate the conservation potential of wildlife trade disease surveillance. Bd was detected in three animals via quantitative PCR: a single Heterixalus alboguttatus, Heterixalus betsileo, and Scaphiophryne spinosa. This is the first time Bd has been confirmed in amphibians from Madagascar and presents an urgent call to action. Our early identification of pathogen presence prior to widespread infection provides the necessary tools and encouragement to catalyze a swift, targeted response to isolate and eradicate Bd from Madagascar. If implemented before establishment occurs, an otherwise likely catastrophic decline in amphibian biodiversity may be prevented.

  8. Low prevalence of chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in amphibians of U.S

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake R. Hossack; Michael J. Adams; Evan H. Campbell Grant; Christopher A. Pearl; James B. Bettaso; William J. Barichivich; Winsor H. Lowe; Kimberly True; Joy L. Ware; Paul Stephen Corn

    2010-01-01

    Many declines of amphibian populations have been associated with chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Despite the relatively high prevalence of chytridiomycosis in stream amphibians globally, most surveys in North America have focused primarily on wetland-associated species, which are frequently infected. To...

  9. Mapping the global emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the amphibian chytrid fungus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deanna H. Olson; David M. Aanensen; Kathryn L. Ronnenberg; Christopher I. Powell; Susan F. Walker; Jon Bielby; Trenton W.J. Garner; George Weaver; Matthew C. Fisher

    2013-01-01

    The rapid worldwide emergence of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is having a profound negative impact on biodiversity. However, global research efforts are fragmented and an overarching synthesis of global infection data is lacking. Here, we provide results from a community tool for the compilation of...

  10. Pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, but not B. salamandrivorans, detected on eastern hellbenders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma K Bales

    Full Text Available Recent worldwide declines and extinctions of amphibian populations have been attributed to chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Until recently, Bd was thought to be the only Batrachochytrium species that infects amphibians; however a newly described species, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs, is linked to die-offs in European fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra. Little is known about the distribution, host range, or origin of Bs. In this study, we surveyed populations of an aquatic salamander that is declining in the United States, the eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis, for the presence of Bs and Bd. Skin swabs were collected from a total of 91 individuals in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia, and tested for both pathogens using duplex qPCR. Bs was not detected in any samples, suggesting it was not present in these hellbender populations (0% prevalence, 95% confidence intervals of 0.0-0.04. Bd was found on 22 hellbenders (24% prevalence, 95% confidence intervals of 0.16 ≤ 0.24 ≤ 0.34, representing all four states. All positive samples had low loads of Bd zoospores (12.7 ± 4.9 S.E.M. genome equivalents compared to other Bd susceptible species. More research is needed to determine the impact of Batrachochytrium infection on hellbender fitness and population viability. In particular, understanding how hellbenders limit Bd infection intensity in an aquatic environment may yield important insights for amphibian conservation. This study is among the first to evaluate the distribution of Bs in the United States, and is consistent with another, which failed to detect Bs in the U.S. Knowledge about the distribution, host-range, and origin of Bs may help control the spread of this pathogen, especially to regions of high salamander diversity, such as the eastern United States.

  11. Pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, but not B. salamandrivorans, detected on eastern hellbenders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bales, Emma K; Hyman, Oliver J; Loudon, Andrew H; Harris, Reid N; Lipps, Gregory; Chapman, Eric; Roblee, Kenneth; Kleopfer, John D; Terrell, Kimberly A

    2015-01-01

    Recent worldwide declines and extinctions of amphibian populations have been attributed to chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Until recently, Bd was thought to be the only Batrachochytrium species that infects amphibians; however a newly described species, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs), is linked to die-offs in European fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). Little is known about the distribution, host range, or origin of Bs. In this study, we surveyed populations of an aquatic salamander that is declining in the United States, the eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis), for the presence of Bs and Bd. Skin swabs were collected from a total of 91 individuals in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia, and tested for both pathogens using duplex qPCR. Bs was not detected in any samples, suggesting it was not present in these hellbender populations (0% prevalence, 95% confidence intervals of 0.0-0.04). Bd was found on 22 hellbenders (24% prevalence, 95% confidence intervals of 0.16 ≤ 0.24 ≤ 0.34), representing all four states. All positive samples had low loads of Bd zoospores (12.7 ± 4.9 S.E.M. genome equivalents) compared to other Bd susceptible species. More research is needed to determine the impact of Batrachochytrium infection on hellbender fitness and population viability. In particular, understanding how hellbenders limit Bd infection intensity in an aquatic environment may yield important insights for amphibian conservation. This study is among the first to evaluate the distribution of Bs in the United States, and is consistent with another, which failed to detect Bs in the U.S. Knowledge about the distribution, host-range, and origin of Bs may help control the spread of this pathogen, especially to regions of high salamander diversity, such as the eastern United States.

  12. Low prevalence of chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in amphibians of U.S. headwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Adams, Michael J.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Pearl, Chistopher A.; Bettaso, James B.; Barichivich, William J.; Lowe, Winsor H.; True, Kimberly; Ware, Joy L.; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2010-01-01

    Many declines of amphibian populations have been associated with chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Despite the relatively high prevalence of chytridiomycosis in stream amphibians globally, most surveys in North America have focused primarily on wetland-associated species, which are frequently infected. To better understand the distribution and prevalence of Bd in headwater amphibian communities, we sampled 452 tailed frogs (Ascaphus truei and Ascaphus montanus) and 304 stream salamanders (seven species in the Dicamptodontidae and Plethodontidae) for Bd in 38, first- to third-order streams in five montane areas across the United States. We tested for presence of Bd by using PCR on skin swabs from salamanders and metamorphosed tailed frogs or the oral disc of frog larvae. We detected Bd on only seven individuals (0.93%) in four streams. Based on our study and results from five other studies that have sampled headwater- or seep-associated amphibians in the United States, Bd has been detected on only 3% of 1,322 individuals from 21 species. These results differ strongly from surveys in Central America and Australia, where Bd is more prevalent on stream-breeding species, as well as results from wetland-associated anurans in the same regions of the United States that we sampled. Differences in the prevalence of Bd between stream- and wetland-associated amphibians in the United States may be related to species-specific variation in susceptibility to chytridiomycosis or habitat differences.

  13. Detection of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Museum Specimens of Andean Aquatic Birds: Implications for Pathogen Dispersal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrowes, Patricia A; De la Riva, Ignacio

    2017-04-01

    The occurrence of the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in the feet of live waterfowl has been documented, but the potential role of birds as dispersers has not been studied. We report the presence of Bd in the feet of preserved aquatic birds in the Bolivian high Andes during the time of drastic amphibian declines in the country. We sampled 48 aquatic birds from the Bolivian Andes that were preserved in museum collections. Birds were sampled for the presence of Bd DNA by swabbing, taking small pieces of tissue from toe webbing, or both. We detected Bd by DNA using quantitative PCR in 42% of the birds sampled via toe tissue pieces. This method was significantly better than swabbing at detecting Bd from bird feet. We confirmed Bd presence by sequencing Bd -positive samples and found 91-98% homology with Bd sequences from GenBank. Our study confirms that aquatic birds can carry Bd and thus may serve as potential vectors of this pathogen across large distances and complex landscapes. In addition, we recommend using DNA from preserved birds as a novel source of data to test hypotheses on the spread of chytridiomycosis in amphibians.

  14. Mapping the global emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the amphibian chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Deanna H; Aanensen, David M; Ronnenberg, Kathryn L; Powell, Christopher I; Walker, Susan F; Bielby, Jon; Garner, Trenton W J; Weaver, George; Fisher, Matthew C

    2013-01-01

    The rapid worldwide emergence of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is having a profound negative impact on biodiversity. However, global research efforts are fragmented and an overarching synthesis of global infection data is lacking. Here, we provide results from a community tool for the compilation of worldwide Bd presence and report on the analyses of data collated over a four-year period. Using this online database, we analysed: 1) spatial and taxonomic patterns of infection, including amphibian families that appear over- and under-infected; 2) relationships between Bd occurrence and declining amphibian species, including associations among Bd occurrence, species richness, and enigmatic population declines; and 3) patterns of environmental correlates with Bd, including climate metrics for all species combined and three families (Hylidae, Bufonidae, Ranidae) separately, at both a global scale and regional (U.S.A.) scale. These associations provide new insights for downscaled hypothesis testing. The pathogen has been detected in 52 of 82 countries in which sampling was reported, and it has been detected in 516 of 1240 (42%) amphibian species. We show that detected Bd infections are related to amphibian biodiversity and locations experiencing rapid enigmatic declines, supporting the hypothesis that greater complexity of amphibian communities increases the likelihood of emergence of infection and transmission of Bd. Using a global model including all sampled species, the odds of Bd detection decreased with increasing temperature range at a site. Further consideration of temperature range, rather than maximum or minimum temperatures, may provide new insights into Bd-host ecology. Whereas caution is necessary when interpreting such a broad global dataset, the use of our pathogen database is helping to inform studies of the epidemiology of Bd, as well as enabling regional, national, and international prioritization of conservation efforts. We

  15. West Africa - a safe haven for frogs? A sub-continental assessment of the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Penner

    Full Text Available A putative driver of global amphibian decline is the panzootic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. While Bd has been documented across continental Africa, its distribution in West Africa remains ambiguous. We tested 793 West African amphibians (one caecilian and 61 anuran species for the presence of Bd. The samples originated from seven West African countries - Bénin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone - and were collected from a variety of habitats, ranging from lowland rainforests to montane forests, montane grasslands to humid and dry lowland savannahs. The species investigated comprised various life-history strategies, but we focused particularly on aquatic and riparian species. We used diagnostic PCR to screen 656 specimen swabs and histology to analyse 137 specimen toe tips. All samples tested negative for Bd, including a widespread habitat generalist Hoplobatrachus occipitalis which is intensively traded on the West African food market and thus could be a potential dispersal agent for Bd. Continental fine-grained (30 arc seconds environmental niche models suggest that Bd should have a broad distribution across West Africa that includes most of the regions and habitats that we surveyed. The surprising apparent absence of Bd in West Africa indicates that the Dahomey Gap may have acted as a natural barrier. Herein we highlight the importance of this Bd-free region of the African continent - especially for the long-term conservation of several threatened species depending on fast flowing forest streams (Conraua alleni ("Vulnerable" and Petropedetes natator ("Near Threatened" as well as the "Critically Endangered" viviparous toad endemic to the montane grasslands of Mount Nimba (Nimbaphrynoides occidentalis.

  16. Rapid Response to Evaluate the Presence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus in Wild Amphibian Populations in Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E.; Smith, Kristine M.; Ramirez, Sara D.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana; Pessier, Allan P.; Brunner, Jesse L.; Goldberg, Caren S.; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F.

    2015-01-01

    We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to April 2014 encompassing 12 regions and 47 survey sites. We simultaneously collected amphibian and environmental samples to increase survey sensitivity and performed sampling both in wilderness areas and commercial amphibian trade facilities. Bd was not detected in any of 508 amphibian skin swabs or 68 water filter samples, suggesting pathogen prevalence was below 0.8%, with 95% confidence during our visit. Ranavirus was detected in 5 of 97 amphibians, including one adult Mantidactylus cowanii and three unidentified larvae from Ranomafana National Park, and one adult Mantidactylus mocquardi from Ankaratra. Ranavirus was also detected in water samples collected from two commercial amphibian export facilities. We also provide the first report of an amphibian mass-mortality event observed in wild amphibians in Madagascar. Although neither Bd nor ranavirus appeared widespread in Madagascar during this investigation, additional health surveys are required to disentangle potential seasonal variations in pathogen abundance and detectability from actual changes in pathogen distribution and rates of spread. Accordingly, our results should be conservatively interpreted until a comparable survey effort during winter months has been performed. It is imperative that biosecurity practices be immediately adopted to limit the unintentional increased spread of disease through the movement of contaminated equipment or direct disposal of contaminated material from wildlife trade facilities. The presence of potentially introduced strains of ranaviruses suggests that Madagascar's reptile species might also be threatened by disease

  17. Effects of urbanization on the occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: do urban environments provide refuge from the amphibian chytrid fungus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel Saenz; Taylor L. Hall; Matthew A. Kwiatkowski

    2015-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a widespread pathogenic fungus that is known to cause the disease, chytridiomycosis, which can be lethal to many amphibians. We compared occurrence rates on spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) in urban and forested breeding sites in eastern Texas, USA. All study sites were at...

  18. Development of antimicrobial peptide defenses of southern leopard frogs, Rana sphenocephala, against the pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holden, Whitney M; Reinert, Laura K; Hanlon, Shane M; Parris, Matthew J; Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2015-01-01

    Amphibian species face the growing threat of extinction due to the emerging fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes the disease chytridiomycosis. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) produced in granular glands of the skin are an important defense against this pathogen. Little is known about the ontogeny of AMP production or the impact of AMPs on potentially beneficial symbiotic skin bacteria. We show here that Rana (Lithobates) sphenocephala produces a mixture of four AMPs with activity against B. dendrobatidis, and we report the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of synthesized replicates of these four AMPs tested against B. dendrobatidis. Using mass spectrometry and protein quantification assays, we observed that R. sphenocephala does not secrete a mature suite of AMPs until approximately 12 weeks post-metamorphosis, and geographically disparate populations produce a different suite of peptides. Use of norepinephrine to induce maximal secretion significantly reduced levels of culturable skin bacteria. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Contribution of Multiple Inter-kingdom Horizontal Gene Transfers to Evolution and Adaptation of Amphibian-killing Chytrid, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baofa Sun

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Amphibian populations are experiencing catastrophic declines driven by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Although horizontal gene transfer (HGT facilitates the evolution and adaptation in many fungi by conferring novel function genes to the recipient fungi, inter-kingdom HGT in Bd remains largely unexplored. In this study, our investigation detects 19 bacterial genes transferred to Bd, including metallo-beta-lactamase and arsenate reductase that play important roles in the resistance to antibiotics and arsenates. Moreover, three probable HGT gene families in Bd are from plants and one gene family coding the ankyrin repeat-containing protein appears to come from oomycetes. The observed multi-copy gene families associated with HGT are probably due to the independent transfer events or gene duplications. Five HGT genes with extracellular locations may relate to infection, and some other genes may participate in a variety of metabolic pathways, and in doing so add important metabolic traits to the recipient. The evolutionary analysis indicates that all the transferred genes evolved under purifying selection, suggesting that their functions in Bd are similar to those of the donors. Collectively, our results indicate that HGT from diverse donors may be an important evolutionary driver of Bd, and improve its adaptations for infecting and colonizing host amphibians.

  20. Genetic evidence for a high diversity and wide distribution of endemic strains of the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in wild Asian amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bataille, Arnaud; Fong, Jonathan J; Cha, Moonsuk; Wogan, Guinevere O U; Baek, Hae Jun; Lee, Hang; Min, Mi-Sook; Waldman, Bruce

    2013-08-01

    Population declines and extinctions of amphibians have been attributed to the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), especially one globally emerging recombinant lineage ('Bd-GPL'). We used PCR assays that target the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) of Bd to determine the prevalence and genetic diversity of Bd in South Korea, where Bd is widely distributed but is not known to cause morbidity or mortality in wild populations. We isolated Korean Bd strains from native amphibians with low infection loads and compared them to known worldwide Bd strains using 19 polymorphic SNP and microsatellite loci. Bd prevalence ranged between 12.5 and 48.0%, in 11 of 17 native Korean species, and 24.7% in the introduced bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus. Based on ITS sequence variation, 47 of the 50 identified Korean haplotypes formed a group closely associated with a native Brazilian Bd lineage, separated from the Bd-GPL lineage. However, multilocus genotyping of three Korean Bd isolates revealed strong divergence from both Bd-GPL and the native Brazilian Bd lineages. Thus, the ITS region resolves genotypes that diverge from Bd-GPL but otherwise generates ambiguous phylogenies. Our results point to the presence of highly diversified endemic strains of Bd across Asian amphibian species. The rarity of Bd-GPL-associated haplotypes suggests that either this lineage was introduced into Korea only recently or Bd-GPL has been outcompeted by native Bd strains. Our results highlight the need to consider possible complex interactions among native Bd lineages, Bd-GPL and their associated amphibian hosts when assessing the spread and impact of Bd-GPL on worldwide amphibian populations. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Absence of invasive Chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in native Fijian ground frog (Platymantis vitiana populations on Viwa-Tailevu, Fiji Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward Narayan

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available We report on the first survey of chytridiomycosis (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis- Bd in the endangered Fijian ground frog (Platymantis vitiana population on Viwa-Tailevu, Fiji Islands. This fungal pathogen has been implicated as the primary cause of amphibian declines worldwide. Few cases have been reported from tropical Asia however it was recently documented in 4 species of frogs in Indonesia. Two hundred individual frogs were swabbed from 5 different sites on Viwa Island. Swabs were tested to quantify the number of Bd zoospore equivalents using real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR technique. We found zero (% prevalence of Bd in ground frogs. The lack of Bd may be due to 1 hot weather all year round inhibiting the spread of Bd, 2 Bd may be absent from Viwa Island due to a lack of amphibian introductions (not introduced or importation of exotic frogs such as Rana catesbeia-na, or Xenopus spp or pet trade spp or 3 the lack of introduction by human vectors due to the geographic isolation, and low visitation of non-local people into the island. While it is difficult to test these hypotheses, a precautionary approach would suggest an effective quarantine is required to protect Fiji’s endemic frogs from future disease outbreak. Conservation effort and research is needed at international level to assist the Fiji government in monitoring and protecting their unique endemic amphibians from outbreaks of B. dendrobatidis.

  2. Prevalence of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in stream and wetland amphibians in Maryland, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Ware, Joy L.; Duncan, Karen L.

    2008-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, responsible for the potentially fatal amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, is known to occur in a large and ever increasing number of amphibian populations around the world. However, sampling has been biased towards stream- and wetland-breeding anurans, with little attention paid to stream-associated salamanders. We sampled three frog and three salamander species in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Maryland, by swabbing animals for PCR analysis to detect DNA of B. dendrobatidis. Using PCR, we detected B. dendrobatidis DNA in both stream and wetland amphibians, and report here the first occurrence of the pathogen in two species of stream-associated salamanders. Future research should focus on mechanisms within habitats that may affect persistence and dissemination of B. dendrobatidis among stream-associated salamanders

  3. A survey for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in endangered and highly susceptible Vietnamese salamanders (Tylototriton spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thien, Tao Nguyen; Martel, An; Brutyn, Melanie; Bogaerts, Sergé; Sparreboom, Max; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Fisher, Matthew C; Beukema, Wouter; Van, Tang Duong; Chiers, Koen; Pasmans, Frank

    2013-09-01

    Until now, Asian amphibians appear to have largely escaped declines driven by chytridiomycosis. Vietnamese salamanders that belong to the genus Tylototriton are rare and have a patchy distribution in mountainous areas, falling within the proposed environmental envelope of chytrid infections, surrounded by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infected regions. If these salamanders are susceptible to chytridiomycosis, then their populations could be highly vulnerable after the introduction of B. dendrobatidis. Examination for the presence of the chytrid fungus in skin swabs from 19 Tylototriton asperrimus and 104 Tylototriton vietnamensis by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed. Susceptibility of T. asperrimus to experimental infection by using the global panzootic lineage (BdGPL) strain of B. dendrobatidis was examined. The fungus was absent in all samples from all wild salamanders examined. Inoculation with the BdGPL strain resulted in mortality of all five inoculated salamanders within 3 weeks after inoculation with infected animals that manifested severe orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis, epidermal hyperplasia, and spongiosis. Although infection by B. dendrobatidis currently appears absent in Vietnamese Tylototriton populations, the rarity of these animals, their pronounced susceptibility to chytridiomycosis, an apparently suitable environmental context and increasing likelihood of the pathogen being introduced, together suggest the need of urgent measures to avoid future scenarios of extinction as witnessed in Central America and Australia.

  4. Concurrent infection with ranavirus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, and Aeromonas in a captive anuran colony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Debra L; Rajeev, Sreekumari; Brookins, Milagros; Cook, Jeff; Whittington, Lisa; Baldwin, Charles A

    2008-09-01

    Four species (Dendrobates auratus, Phyllobates terribilis, Pyxicephalus adspersus, and Rhacophorus dennysi) of captive anurans with a clinical history of lethargy and inappetence were found dead and were submitted for necropsy. Gross lesions included irregular patches of sloughed skin and rare dermal ulcerations. Histologic findings included epidermal proliferation that was most pronounced on the digits and that included intracytoplasmic chytrid organisms. Bacteria were often associated with the epidermal lesions. Intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies were observed in hepatocytes. Real-time polymerase chain reaction yielded positive results for both Ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Bacterial culture of internal organs yielded Aeromonas hydrophila. This is the first report of concurrent infections in anurans by Ranavirus and Bd and A. hydrophila.

  5. Growth characteristics and enzyme activity in Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symonds, E Pearl; Trott, Darren J; Bird, Philip S; Mills, Paul

    2008-09-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a member of the phylum Chytridiomycota and the causative organism chytridiomycosis, a disease of amphibians associated with global population declines and mass mortality events. The organism targets keratin-forming epithelium in adult and larval amphibians, which suggests that keratinolytic activity may be required to infect amphibian hosts. To investigate this hypothesis, we tested 10 isolates of B. dendrobatidis for their ability to grow on a range of keratin-supplemented agars and measured keratolytic enzyme activity using a commercially available kit (bioMerieux API ZYM). The most dense and fastest growth of isolates were recorded on tryptone agar, followed by growth on frog skin agar and the slowest growth recorded on feather meal and boiled snake skin agar. Growth patterns were distinctive for each nutrient source. All 10 isolates were strongly positive for a range of proteolytic enzymes which may be keratinolytic, including trypsin and chymotrypsin. These findings support the predilection of B. dendrobatidis for amphibian skin.

  6. Efficacy of chemical disinfectants for the containment of the salamander chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascale Van Rooij

    Full Text Available The recently emerged chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal causes European salamander declines. Proper hygiene protocols including disinfection procedures are crucial to prevent disease transmission. Here, the efficacy of chemical disinfectants in killing Bsal was evaluated. At all tested conditions, Biocidal®, Chloramine-T®, Dettol medical®, Disolol®, ethanol, F10®, Hibiscrub®, potassium permanganate, Safe4®, sodium hypochlorite, and Virkon S®, were effective at killing Bsal. Concentrations of 5% sodium chloride or lower, 0.01% peracetic acid and 0.001-1% copper sulphate were inactive against Bsal. None of the conditions tested for hydrogen peroxide affected Bsal viability, while it did kill Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. For Bsal, enzymatic breakdown of hydrogen peroxide by catalases and specific morphological features (clustering of sporangia, development of new sporangia within the original sporangium, were identified as fungal factors altering susceptibility to several of the disinfectants tested. Based on the in vitro results we recommend 1% Virkon S®, 4% sodium hypochlorite and 70% ethanol for disinfecting equipment in the field, lab or captive setting, with a minimal contact time of 5 minutes for 1% Virkon S® and 1 minute for the latter disinfectants. These conditions not only efficiently target Bsal, but also Bd and Ranavirus.

  7. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis not found in rainforest frogs along an altitudinal gradient of Papua New Guinea

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dahl, C.; Kiatik, I.; Baisen, I.; Bronikowski, E.; Fleischer, R. C.; Rotzel, N. C.; Lock, J.; Novotný, Vojtěch; Narayan, E.; Hero, J.-M.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 22, č. 3 (2012), s. 183-186 ISSN 0268-0130 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : altitude * amphibians * Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.081, year: 2012

  8. Distribution of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the Pacific Northwestern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearl, Christopher A.; Bull, E.L.; Green, D.E.; Bowerman, Jay; Adams, Michael J.; Hyatt, A.; Wente, W.

    2007-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis (infection by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has been associated with amphibian declines in at least four continents. We report results of disease screens from 210 pond-breeding amphibians from 37 field sites in Oregon and Washington. We detected B. dendrobatidis on 28% of sampled amphibians, and we found a?Y 1 detection of B. dendrobatidis from 43% of sites. Four of seven species tested positive for B. dendrobatidis, including the Northern Red-Legged Frog (Rana aurora), Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris), and Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa). We also detected B. dendrobatidis in nonnative American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) from six sites in western and central Oregon. Our study and other recently published findings suggest that B. dendrobatidis has few geographic and host taxa limitations among North American anurans. Further research on virulence, transmissibility, persistence, and interactions with other stressors is needed to assess the potential impact of B. dendrobatidis on Pacific Northwestern amphibians.

  9. Composition of Micro-eukaryotes on the Skin of the Cascades Frog (Rana cascadae and Patterns of Correlation between Skin Microbes and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan G. Kueneman

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Global amphibian decline linked to fungal pathogens has galvanized research on applied amphibian conservation. Skin-associated bacterial communities of amphibians have been shown to mediate fungal skin infections and the development of probiotic treatments with antifungal bacteria has become an emergent area of research. While exploring the role of protective bacteria has been a primary focus for amphibian conservation, we aim to expand and study the other microbes present in amphibian skin communities including fungi and other micro-eukaryotes. Here, we characterize skin-associated bacteria and micro-eukaryotic diversity found across life stages of Cascades frog (Rana cascadae and their associated aquatic environments using culture independent 16S and 18S rRNA marker-gene sequencing. Individuals of various life stages of Cascades frogs were sampled from a population located in the Trinity Alps in Northern California during an epidemic of the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. We filtered the bacterial sequences against a published database of bacteria known to inhibit B. dendrobatidis in co-culture to estimate the proportion of the skin bacterial community that is likely to provide defense against B. dendrobatidis. Tadpoles had a significantly higher proportion of B. dendrobatidis-inhibitory bacterial sequence matches relative to subadult and adult Cascades frogs. We applied a network analysis to examine patterns of correlation between bacterial taxa and B. dendrobatidis, as well as micro-eukaryotic taxa and B. dendrobatidis. Combined with the published database of bacteria known to inhibit B. dendrobatidis, we used the network analysis to identify bacteria that negatively correlated with B. dendrobatidis and thus could be good probiotic candidates in the Cascades frog system.

  10. Development of in vitro models for a better understanding of the early pathogenesis of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infections in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Rooij, Pascale; Martel, An; Brutyn, Melanie; Maes, Sofie; Chiers, Koen; Van Waeyenberghe, Lieven; Croubels, Siska; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2010-12-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the causal agent of chytridiomycosis, is implicated in the global decline of amphibians. This chytrid fungus invades keratinised epithelial cells, and infection is mainly associated with epidermal hyperplasia and hyperkeratosis. Since little is known about the pathogenesis of chytridiomycosis, this study was designed to optimise the conditions under which primary keratinocytes and epidermal explants of amphibian skin could be maintained ex vivo for several days. The usefulness of the following set-ups for pathogenesis studies was investigated: a) cultures of primary keratinocytes; b) stripped epidermal (SE) explants; c) full-thickness epidermal (FTE) explants on Matrigel™; d) FTE explants in cell culture inserts; and e) FTE explants in Ussing chambers. SE explants proved most suitable for short-term studies, since adherence of fluorescently-labelled zoospores to the superficial epidermis could be observed within one hour of infection. FTE explants in an Ussing chamber set-up are most suitable for the study of the later developmental stages of B. dendrobatidis in amphibian skin up to five days post-infection. These models provide a good alternative for in vivo experiments, and reduce the number of experimental animals needed. 2010 FRAME.

  11. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis detected in amphibians from National Forests in eastern Texas, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel Saenz; Brendan T. Kavanagh; Matthew A. Kwiatkowski

    2010-01-01

    The amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, Longcore et al. 1999), is well known as a major threat to amphibians resulting in mass die-offs and population declines throughout the world (Berger et al. 1998; Blaustein and Keisecker 2002; Daszak et al. 2003; McCallum 2005; Rachowicz et al. 2006)....

  12. Differences in sensitivity to the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis among amphibian populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul W. Bradley; Stephanie S. Gervasi; Jessica Hua; Rickey D. Cothran; Rick A. Relyea; Deanna H. Olson; Andrew R. Blaustein

    2015-01-01

    Contributing to the worldwide biodiversity crisis are emerging infectious diseases, which can lead to extirpations and extinctions of hosts. For example, the infectious fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is associated with worldwide amphibian population declines and extinctions. Sensitivity to Bd varies with species, season, and life stage. However,...

  13. Occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in an anuran community in the southeastern Talamanca Region of Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel Saenz; Cory K. Adams; Josh B. Pierce; David Laurencio

    2009-01-01

    Soon after the discovery of the amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, Longcore et al. 1999), it became apparent that Bd was a major threat to amphibians resulting in mass die-offs and population declines throughout the world (Berger et aI. 1998; Blaustein and Keisecker 2002; Daszak et aI. 2003; McCallum...

  14. Heterogeneous occupancy and density estimates of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in waters of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tara Chestnut; Chauncey Anderson; Radu Popa; Andrew R. Blaustein; Mary Voytek; Deanna H. Olson; Julie. Kirshtein

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity losses are occurring worldwide due to a combination of stressors. For example, by one estimate, 40% of amphibian species are vulnerable to extinction, and disease is one threat to amphibian populations. The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a contributor to amphibian declines...

  15. Occurrence of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearl, C.A.; Bull, E.L.; Green, D.E.; Bowerman, J.; Adams, M.J.; Hyatt, A.; Wente, W.H.

    2007-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis (infection by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has been associated with amphibian declines in at least four continents. We report results of disease screens from 210 pond-breeding amphibians from 37 field sites in Oregon and Washington. We detected B. dendrobatidis on 28% of sampled amphibians, and we found ??? 1 detection of B. dendrobatidis from 43% of sites. Four of seven species tested positive for B. dendrobatidis, including the Northern Red-Legged Frog (Rana aurora), Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris), and Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa). We also detected B. dendrobatidis in nonnative American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) from six sites in western and central Oregon. Our study and other recently published findings suggest that B. dendrobatidis has few geographic and host taxa limitations among North American anurans. Further research on virulence, transmissibility, persistence, and interactions with other stressors is needed to assess the potential impact of B. dendrobatidis on Pacific Northwestern amphibians. Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  16. Reptiles as potential vectors and hosts of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilburn, Vanessa L; Ibáñez, Roberto; Green, David M

    2011-12-06

    Chytridiomycosis, the disease caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is considered to be a disease exclusively of amphibians. However, B. dendrobatidis may also be capable of persisting in the environment, and non-amphibian vectors or hosts may contribute to disease transmission. Reptiles living in close proximity to amphibians and sharing similar ecological traits could serve as vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis, harbouring the organism on their skin without succumbing to disease. We surveyed for the presence of B. dendrobatidis DNA among 211 lizards and 8 snakes at 8 sites at varying elevations in Panama where the syntopic amphibians were at pre-epizootic, epizootic or post-epizootic stages of chytridiomycosis. Detection of B. dendrobatidis DNA was done using qPCR analysis. Evidence of the amphibian pathogen was present at varying intensities in 29 of 79 examined Anolis humilis lizards (32%) and 9 of 101 A. lionotus lizards (9%), and in one individual each of the snakes Pliocercus euryzonus, Imantodes cenchoa, and Nothopsis rugosus. In general, B. dendrobatidis DNA prevalence among reptiles was positively correlated with the infection prevalence among co-occurring anuran amphibians at any particular site (r = 0.88, p = 0.004). These reptiles, therefore, may likely be vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis and could serve as disease transmission agents. Although there is no evidence of B. dendrobatidis disease-induced declines in reptiles, cases of coincidence of reptile and amphibian declines suggest this potentiality. Our study is the first to provide evidence of non-amphibian carriers for B. dendrobatidis in a natural Neotropical environment.

  17. Concurrent ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in captive frogs (Phyllobates and Dendrobates species), The Netherlands, 2012: a first report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kik, Marja; Stege, Marisca; Boonyarittichaikij, Roschong; van Asten, Alphons

    2012-11-01

    A ranavirus infection with concurrent Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection and mortality in captive Phyllobates and Dendrobates species is reported. Greyish skin with hepato- and reno-megaly were evident. Microscopically, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was present in the stratum corneum of the hyperkeratotic skin. Intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies were present in erythrocytes and multiple organs. All samples examined tested positive using PCR for the major capsid protein (MCP) gene of ranavirus and the ITS-1-5.8S region of B. dendrobatidis. The sequence obtained showed a 99% identity with the deposited sequence of the MCP gene of the common midwife toad virus (CMTV). This is the first report of mortality in captivity in poison dart frogs caused by a ranavirus, CMTV or like virus, and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Motile zoospores of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis move away from antifungal metabolites produced by amphibian skin bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Brianna A; Walton, D Brian; Harris, Reid N

    2011-03-01

    Chytridiomycosis is an amphibian skin disease that threatens amphibian biodiversity worldwide. The fungal agent of chytridiomycosis is Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. There is considerable variation in disease outcomes such that some individuals and populations co-exist with the fungus and others quickly succumb to disease. Amphibians in populations that co-exist with the B. dendrobatidis have sublethal infections on their skins. Symbiotic skin bacteria have been shown in experiments and surveys to play a role in protecting amphibians from chytridiomycosis. Little is known about the mechanisms that antifungal skin bacteria use to ameliorate the effects of B. dendrobatidis. In this study, we identified that B. dendrobatidis isolate JEL 310 zoospores display chemotaxis, in the presence of two bacterially-produced metabolites (2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol and indole-3-carboxaldehyde). In the presence of either metabolite, B. dendrobatidis zoospores move more frequently away from the metabolite. Using parameters estimated from this study, a simple stochastic model of a random walk on a lattice was evaluated. The model shows that these individual behaviors over short time-scales directly lead to population behaviors over long time-scales, such that most zoospores will escape, or not infect a tryptone substrate containing the bacterially-produced metabolite, whereas many zoospores will infect the tryptone substrate containing no metabolite. These results suggest that amphibians that have skin bacteria produce antifungal metabolites that might be able to keep B. dendrobatidis infections below the lethal threshold and thus are able to co-exist with the fungus.

  19. Tolerance of fungal infection in European water frogs exposed to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis after experimental reduction of innate immune defenses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodhams, Douglas C; Bigler, Laurent; Marschang, Rachel

    2012-10-23

    While emerging diseases are affecting many populations of amphibians, some populations are resistant. Determining the relative contributions of factors influencing disease resistance is critical for effective conservation management. Innate immune defenses in amphibian skin are vital host factors against a number of emerging pathogens such as ranaviruses and the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Adult water frogs from Switzerland (Pelophylax esculentus and P. lessonae) collected in the field with their natural microbiota intact were exposed to Bd after experimental reduction of microbiota, skin peptides, both, or neither to determine the relative contributions of these defenses. Naturally-acquired Bd infections were detected in 10/51 P. lessonae and 4/19 P. esculentus, but no disease outbreaks or population declines have been detected at this site. Thus, this population was immunologically primed, and disease resistant. No mortality occurred during the 64 day experiment. Forty percent of initially uninfected frogs became sub-clinically infected upon experimental exposure to Bd. Reduction of both skin peptide and microbiota immune defenses caused frogs to gain less mass when exposed to Bd than frogs in other treatments. Microbiota-reduced frogs increased peptide production upon Bd infection. Ranavirus was undetectable in all but two frogs that appeared healthy in the field, but died within a week under laboratory conditions. Virus was detectable in both toe-clips and internal organs. Intact skin microbiota reduced immune activation and can minimize subclinical costs of infection. Tolerance of Bd or ranavirus infection may differ with ecological conditions.

  20. Using occupancy models to understand the distribution of an amphibian pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.; Chelgren, Nathan; Reinitz, David M.; Cole, Rebecca A.; Rachowicz, L.J.; Galvan, Stephanie; Mccreary, Brome; Pearl, Christopher A.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Bettaso, Jamie B.; Bull, Evelyn L.; Leu, Matthias

    2010-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a fungal pathogen that is receiving attention around the world for its role in amphibian declines. Study of its occurrence patterns is hampered by false negatives: the failure to detect the pathogen when it is present. Occupancy models are a useful but currently underutilized tool for analyzing detection data when the probability of detecting a species is <1. We use occupancy models to evaluate hypotheses concerning the occurrence and prevalence of B. dendrobatidis and discuss how this application differs from a conventional occupancy approach. We found that the probability of detecting the pathogen, conditional on presence of the pathogen in the anuran population, was related to amphibian development stage, day of the year, elevation, and human activities. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was found throughout our study area but was only estimated to occur in 53.4% of 78 populations of native amphibians and 66.4% of 40 populations of nonnative Rana catesbeiana tested. We found little evidence to support any spatial hypotheses concerning the probability that the pathogen occurs in a population, but did find evidence of some taxonomic variation. We discuss the interpretation of occupancy model parameters, when, unlike a conventional occupancy application, the number of potential samples or observations is finite.

  1. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selene Dall'Acqua Coutinho

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57% and 18/107 (17% animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1% and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27. The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations.

  2. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutinho, Selene Dall'Acqua; Burke, Julieta Catarina; de Paula, Catia Dejuste; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2015-06-01

    Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57%) and 18/107 (17%) animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1%) and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27). The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations.

  3. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutinho, Selene Dall'Acqua; Burke, Julieta Catarina; de Paula, Catia Dejuste; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2015-01-01

    Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57%) and 18/107 (17%) animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1%) and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27). The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations. PMID:26273273

  4. Pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in marbled water frog Telmatobius marmoratus: first record from Lake Titicaca, Bolivia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cossel, John; Lindquist, Erik; Craig, Heather; Luthman, Kyle

    2014-11-13

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been associated with amphibian declines worldwide but has not been well-studied among Critically Endangered amphibian species in Bolivia. We sampled free-living marbled water frogs Telmatobius marmoratus (Anura: Leptodactylidae) from Isla del Sol, Bolivia, for Bd using skin swabs and quantitative polymerase chain reactions. We detected Bd on 44% of T. marmoratus sampled. This is the first record of Bd in amphibians from waters associated with Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. These results further confirm the presence of Bd in Bolivia and substantiate the potential threat of this pathogen to the Critically Endangered, sympatric Titicaca water frog T. culeus and other Andean amphibians.

  5. Projecting the Global Distribution of the Emerging Amphibian Fungal Pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Based on IPCC Climate Futures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gisselle Yang Xie

    Full Text Available Projected changes in climate conditions are emerging as significant risk factors to numerous species, affecting habitat conditions and community interactions. Projections suggest species range shifts in response to climate change modifying environmental suitability and is supported by observational evidence. Both pathogens and their hosts can shift ranges with climate change. We consider how climate change may influence the distribution of the emerging infectious amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, a pathogen associated with worldwide amphibian population losses. Using an expanded global Bd database and a novel modeling approach, we examined a broad set of climate metrics to model the Bd-climate niche globally and regionally, then project how climate change may influence Bd distributions. Previous research showed that Bd distribution is dependent on climatic variables, in particular temperature. We trained a machine-learning model (random forest with the most comprehensive global compilation of Bd sampling records (~5,000 site-level records, mid-2014 summary, including 13 climatic variables. We projected future Bd environmental suitability under IPCC scenarios. The learning model was trained with combined worldwide data (non-region specific and also separately per region (region-specific. One goal of our study was to estimate of how Bd spatial risks may change under climate change based on the best available data. Our models supported differences in Bd-climate relationships among geographic regions. We projected that Bd ranges will shift into higher latitudes and altitudes due to increased environmental suitability in those regions under predicted climate change. Specifically, our model showed a broad expansion of areas environmentally suitable for establishment of Bd on amphibian hosts in the temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere. Our projections are useful for the development of monitoring designs in these areas

  6. Variation in the Presence of Anti-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Bacteria of Amphibians Across Life Stages and Elevations in Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bresciano, J C; Salvador, C A; Paz-Y-Miño, C; Parody-Merino, A M; Bosch, J; Woodhams, D C

    2015-06-01

    Amphibian populations are decreasing worldwide due to a variety of factors. In South America, the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is linked to many population declines. The pathogenic effect of Bd on amphibians can be inhibited by specific bacteria present on host skin. This symbiotic association allows some amphibians to resist the development of the disease chytridiomycosis. Here, we aimed (1) to determine for the first time if specific anti-Bd bacteria are present on amphibians in the Andes of Ecuador, (2) to monitor anti-Bd bacteria across developmental stages in a focal amphibian, the Andean marsupial tree frog, Gastrotheca riobambae, that deposits larvae in aquatic habitats, and (3) to compare the Bd presence associated with host assemblages including 10 species at sites ranging in biogeography from Amazonian rainforest (450 masl) to Andes montane rainforest (3200 masl). We sampled and identified skin-associated bacteria of frogs in the field using swabs and a novel methodology of aerobic counting plates, and a combination of morphological, biochemical, and molecular identification techniques. The following anti-Bd bacteria were identified and found to be shared among several hosts at high-elevation sites where Bd was present at a prevalence of 32.5%: Janthinobacterium lividum, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Serratia sp. Bd were detected in Gastrotheca spp. and not detected in the lowlands (sites below 1000 masl). In G. riobambae, recognized Bd-resistant bacteria start to be present at the metamorphic stage. Overall bacterial abundance was significantly higher post-metamorphosis and on species sampled at lower elevations. Further metagenomic studies are needed to evaluate the roles of host identity, life-history stage, and biogeography of the microbiota and their function in disease resistance.

  7. Tolerance of fungal infection in European water frogs exposed to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis after experimental reduction of innate immune defenses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Woodhams Douglas C

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background While emerging diseases are affecting many populations of amphibians, some populations are resistant. Determining the relative contributions of factors influencing disease resistance is critical for effective conservation management. Innate immune defenses in amphibian skin are vital host factors against a number of emerging pathogens such as ranaviruses and the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Adult water frogs from Switzerland (Pelophylax esculentus and P. lessonae collected in the field with their natural microbiota intact were exposed to Bd after experimental reduction of microbiota, skin peptides, both, or neither to determine the relative contributions of these defenses. Results Naturally-acquired Bd infections were detected in 10/51 P. lessonae and 4/19 P. esculentus, but no disease outbreaks or population declines have been detected at this site. Thus, this population was immunologically primed, and disease resistant. No mortality occurred during the 64 day experiment. Forty percent of initially uninfected frogs became sub-clinically infected upon experimental exposure to Bd. Reduction of both skin peptide and microbiota immune defenses caused frogs to gain less mass when exposed to Bd than frogs in other treatments. Microbiota-reduced frogs increased peptide production upon Bd infection. Ranavirus was undetectable in all but two frogs that appeared healthy in the field, but died within a week under laboratory conditions. Virus was detectable in both toe-clips and internal organs. Conclusion Intact skin microbiota reduced immune activation and can minimize subclinical costs of infection. Tolerance of Bd or ranavirus infection may differ with ecological conditions.

  8. First in Vivo Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Transcriptomes Reveal Mechanisms of Host Exploitation, Host-Specific Gene Expression, and Expressed Genotype Shifts

    OpenAIRE

    Amy R. Ellison; Graziella V. DiRenzo; Caitlin A. McDonald; Karen R. Lips; Kelly R. Zamudio

    2017-01-01

    For generalist pathogens, host species represent distinct selective environments, providing unique challenges for resource acquisition and defense from host immunity, potentially resulting in host-dependent differences in pathogen fitness. Gene expression modulation should be advantageous, responding optimally to a given host and mitigating the costs of generalism. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a fungal pathogen of amphibians, shows variability in pathogenicity among isolates, and with...

  9. Insights From Genomics Into Spatial and Temporal Variation in Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, A Q; Voyles, J; Rios-Sotelo, G; Rosenblum, E B

    2016-01-01

    Advances in genetics and genomics have provided new tools for the study of emerging infectious diseases. Researchers can now move quickly from simple hypotheses to complex explanations for pathogen origin, spread, and mechanisms of virulence. Here we focus on the application of genomics to understanding the biology of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a novel and deadly pathogen of amphibians. We provide a brief history of the system, then focus on key insights into Bd variation garnered from genomics approaches, and finally, highlight new frontiers for future discoveries. Genomic tools have revealed unexpected complexity and variation in the Bd system suggesting that the history and biology of emerging pathogens may not be as simple as they initially seem. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. The emerging amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis globally infects introduced populations of the North American bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garner, Trenton W J; Perkins, Matthew W; Govindarajulu, Purnima; Seglie, Daniele; Walker, Susan; Cunningham, Andrew A; Fisher, Matthew C

    2006-09-22

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is the chytridiomycete fungus which has been implicated in global amphibian declines and numerous species extinctions. Here, we show that introduced North American bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) consistently carry this emerging pathogenic fungus. We detected infections by this fungus on introduced bullfrogs from seven of eight countries using both PCR and microscopic techniques. Only native bullfrogs from eastern Canada and introduced bullfrogs from Japan showed no sign of infection. The bullfrog is the most commonly farmed amphibian, and escapes and subsequent establishment of feral populations regularly occur. These factors taken together with our study suggest that the global threat of B. dendrobatidis disease transmission posed by bullfrogs is significant.

  11. Unexpected rarity of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Appalachian Plethodon Salamanders: 1957-2011.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carly Muletz

    Full Text Available Widespread population declines in terrestrial Plethodon salamanders occurred by the 1980s throughout the Appalachian Mountains, the center of global salamander diversity, with no evident recovery. We tested the hypothesis that the historic introduction and spread of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd into the eastern US was followed by Plethodon population declines. We expected to detect elevated prevalence of Bd prior to population declines as observed for Central American plethodontids. We tested 1,498 Plethodon salamanders of 12 species (892 museum specimens, 606 wild individuals for the presence of Bd, and tested 94 of those for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs and for ranavirus. Field samples were collected in 2011 from 48 field sites across a 767 km transect. Historic samples from museum specimens were collected at five sites with the greatest number and longest duration of collection (1957-987, four of which were sampled in the field in 2011. None of the museum specimens were positive for Bd, but four P. cinereus from field surveys were positive. The overall Bd prevalence from 1957-2011 for 12 Plethodon species sampled across a 757 km transect was 0.2% (95% CI 0.1-0.7%. All 94 samples were negative for Bs and ranavirus. We conclude that known amphibian pathogens are unlikely causes for declines in these Plethodon populations. Furthermore, these exceptionally low levels of Bd, in a region known to harbor Bd, may indicate that Plethodon specific traits limit Bd infection.

  12. Effects of the Chytrid fungus on the Tarahumara frog (Rana tarahumarae) in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen F. Hale; Philip C. Rosen; James L. Jarchow; Gregory A. Bradley

    2005-01-01

    We conducted histological analyses on museum specimens collected 1975-1999 from 10 sites in Arizona and Sonora to test for the pathogenic chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in ranid frogs, focusing on the Tarahumara frog (Rana tarahumarae). During 1981-2000, frogs displaying disease signs were found in the field, and...

  13. Qualitative risk analysis of introducing Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis to the UK through the importation of live amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peel, Alison J; Hartley, Matt; Cunningham, Andrew A

    2012-03-20

    The international amphibian trade is implicated in the emergence and spread of the amphibian fungal disease chytridiomycosis, which has resulted in amphibian declines and extinctions globally. The establishment of the causal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), in the UK could negatively affect the survival of native amphibian populations. In recognition of the ongoing threat that it poses to amphibians, Bd was recently included in the World Organisation for Animal Health Aquatic Animal Health Code, and therefore is in the list of international notifiable diseases. Using standardised risk analysis guidelines, we investigated the likelihood that Bd would be introduced to and become established in wild amphibians in the UK through the importation of live amphibians. We obtained data on the volume and origin of the amphibian trade entering the UK and detected Bd infection in amphibians being imported for the pet and private collection trade and also in amphibians already held in captive pet, laboratory and zoological collections. We found that current systems for recording amphibian trade into the UK underestimate the volume of non-European Union trade by almost 10-fold. We identified high likelihoods of entry, establishment and spread of Bd in the UK and the resulting major overall impact. Despite uncertainties, we determined that the overall risk estimation for the introduction of Bd to the UK through the importation of live amphibians is high and that risk management measures are required, whilst ensuring that negative effects on legal trade are minimised.

  14. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence and haplotypes in domestic and imported pet amphibians in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamukai, Kenichi; Une, Yumi; Tominaga, Atsushi; Suzuki, Kazutaka; Goka, Koichi

    2014-05-13

    The international trade in amphibians is believed to have increased the spread of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the fungal pathogen responsible for chytridiomycosis, which has caused a rapid decline in amphibian populations worldwide. We surveyed amphibians imported into Japan and those held in captivity for a long period or bred in Japan to clarify the Bd infection status. Samples were taken from 820 individuals of 109 amphibian species between 2008 and 2011 and were analyzed by a nested-PCR assay. Bd prevalence in imported amphibians was 10.3% (58/561), while it was 6.9% (18/259) in those in private collections and commercially bred amphibians in Japan. We identified the genotypes of this fungus using partial DNA sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Sequencing of PCR products of all 76 Bd-positive samples revealed 11 haplotypes of the Bd ITS region. Haplotype A (DNA Data Bank of Japan accession number AB435211) was found in 90% (52/58) of imported amphibians. The results show that Bd is currently entering Japan via the international trade in exotic amphibians as pets, suggesting that the trade has indeed played a major role in the spread of Bd.

  15. Filling a gap in the distribution of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: evidence in amphibians from northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wei; Fan, Liqing; Soto-Azat, Claudio; Yan, Shaofei; Gao, Xu; Liu, Xuan; Wang, Supen; Liu, Conghui; Yang, Xuejiao; Li, Yiming

    2016-03-30

    Chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been recognized as a major driver of amphibian declines worldwide. Central and northern Asia remain as the greatest gap in the knowledge of the global distribution of Bd. In China, Bd has recently been recorded from south and central regions, but areas in the north remain poorly surveyed. In addition, a recent increase in amphibian farming and trade has put this region at high risk for Bd introduction. To investigate this, we collected a total of 1284 non-invasive skin swabs from wild and captive anurans and caudates, including free-ranging, farmed, ornamental, and museum-preserved amphibians. Bd was detected at low prevalence (1.1%, 12 of 1073) in live wild amphibians, representing the first report of Bd infecting anurans from remote areas of northwestern China. We were unable to obtain evidence of the historical presence of Bd from museum amphibians (n = 72). Alarmingly, Bd was not detected in wild amphibians from the provinces of northeastern China (>700 individuals tested), but was widely present (15.1%, 21 of 139) in amphibians traded in this region. We suggest that urgent implementation of measures is required to reduce the possibility of further spread or inadvertent introduction of Bd to China. It is unknown whether Bd in northern China belongs to endemic and/or exotic genotypes, and this should be the focus of future research.

  16. Presence and prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in commercial amphibians in Mexico City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galindo-Bustos, Miguel Angel; Hernandez-Jauregui, Dulce María Brousset; Cheng, Tina; Vredenburg, Vance; Parra-Olea, Gabriela

    2014-12-01

    In Mexico City, native and exotic amphibians are commonly sold through the pet trade. This study investigates the presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in native amphibians being sold at two commercial markets and at a herpetarium in Mexico City. A total of 238 individuals (6 genera and 12 species) were tested for Bd using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. There were 197 Bd-positive individuals (prevalence 82%) from five species of amphibians. Hyla eximia from the markets had very high Bd prevalence (100%; 76/76 and 99%; 88/89) but those from the herpetarium were Bd negative (0/12). Ambystoma mexicanum from the herpetarium also had a high Bd-positive prevalence (80%; 28/35). Though A. mexicanum is nearly extinct in the wild, a commercial market continues to flourish through the pet trade. Now that captive colonies of A. mexicanum are currently used for reintroduction programs, the authors recommend quarantine to reduce spread of Bd via movement of infected animals in the trade and between colonies and via disposal of wastewater from captive collections.

  17. Widespread presence of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in wild amphibian communities in Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletz, Molly C.; Rosa, Gonçalo M.; Andreone, Franco; Courtois, Elodie A.; Schmeller, Dirk S.; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H. C.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Raharivololoniaina, Liliane; Vences, Miguel; Weldon, Ché; Edmonds, Devin; Raxworthy, Christopher J.; Harris, Reid N.; Fisher, Matthew C.; Crottini, Angelica

    2015-01-01

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been a significant driver of amphibian declines. While globally widespread, Bd had not yet been reported from within Madagascar. We document surveys conducted across the country between 2005 and 2014, showing Bd's first record in 2010. Subsequently, Bd was detected in multiple areas, with prevalence reaching up to 100%. Detection of Bd appears to be associated with mid to high elevation sites and to have a seasonal pattern, with greater detectability during the dry season. Lineage-based PCR was performed on a subset of samples. While some did not amplify with any lineage probe, when a positive signal was observed, samples were most similar to the Global Panzootic Lineage (BdGPL). These results may suggest that Bd arrived recently, but do not exclude the existence of a previously undetected endemic Bd genotype. Representatives of all native anuran families have tested Bd-positive, and exposure trials confirm infection by Bd is possible. Bd's presence could pose significant threats to Madagascar's unique “megadiverse” amphibians. PMID:25719857

  18. Distribution limits of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: a case study in the Rocky Mountains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Anderson, Chauncey W.; Kirshtein, Julie D.; Corn, P. Stephen

    2009-01-01

    Knowledge of the environmental constraints on a pathogen is critical to predicting its dynamics and effects on populations. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), an aquatic fungus that has been linked with widespread amphibian declines, is ubiquitous in the Rocky Mountains. As part of assessing the distribution limits of Bd in our study area, we sampled the water column and sediments for Bd zoospores in 30 high-elevation water bodies that lacked amphibians. All water bodies were in areas where Bd has been documented from neighboring, lower-elevation areas. We targeted areas lacking amphibians because existence of Bd independent of amphibians would have both ecologic and management implications. We did not detect Bd, which supports the hypothesis that it does not live independently of amphibians. However, assuming a detection sensitivity of 59.5% (based on sampling of water where amphibians tested positive for Bd), we only had 95% confidence of detecting Bd if it was in > or =16% of our sites. Further investigation into potential abiotic reservoirs is needed, but our results provide a strategic step in determining the distributional and environmental limitations of Bd in our study region.

  19. Detection of the emerging amphibian pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and ranavirus in Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reshetnikov, Andrey N.; Chestnut, Tara E.; Brunner, Jesse L.; Charles, Kaylene M.; Nebergall, Emily E.; Olson, Deanna H.

    2014-01-01

    In a population of the European common toad Bufo bufo from a rural pond in the region of Lake Glubokoe Regional Reserve in Moscow province, Russia, unexplained mass mortality events involving larvae and metamorphs have been observed over a monitoring period of >20 yr. We tested toads from this and a nearby site for the emerging amphibian pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and ranavirus (Rv). Both pathogens were detected, and at the rural pond site, with the above-noted losses and decline in toad breeding success, 40% of B. bufo metamorphs were Bd positive, 46% were Rv positive and 20% were co-infected with both pathogens. Toad metamorphs from a neighbouring water body were also Bd and Rv positive (25 and 55%, respectively). This is the first confirmation of these pathogens in Russia. Questions remain as to the origins of these pathogens in Russia and their roles in documented mass mortality events.

  20. Gene expression differs in susceptible and resistant amphibians exposed toBatrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskew, Evan A; Shock, Barbara C; LaDouceur, Elise E B; Keel, Kevin; Miller, Michael R; Foley, Janet E; Todd, Brian D

    2018-02-01

    Chytridiomycosis, the disease caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ), has devastated global amphibian biodiversity. Nevertheless, some hosts avoid disease after Bd exposure even as others experience near-complete extirpation. It remains unclear whether the amphibian adaptive immune system plays a role in Bd defence. Here, we describe gene expression in two host species-one susceptible to chytridiomycosis and one resistant-following exposure to two Bd isolates that differ in virulence. Susceptible wood frogs ( Rana sylvatica ) had high infection loads and mortality when exposed to the more virulent Bd isolate but lower infection loads and no fatal disease when exposed to the less virulent isolate. Resistant American bullfrogs ( R. catesbeiana ) had high survival across treatments and rapidly cleared Bd infection or avoided infection entirely. We found widespread upregulation of adaptive immune genes and downregulation of important metabolic and cellular maintenance components in wood frogs after Bd exposure, whereas American bullfrogs showed little gene expression change and no evidence of an adaptive immune response. Wood frog responses suggest that adaptive immune defences may be ineffective against virulent Bd isolates that can cause rapid physiological dysfunction. By contrast, American bullfrogs exhibited robust resistance to Bd that is likely attributable, at least in part, to their continued upkeep of metabolic and skin integrity pathways as well as greater antimicrobial peptide expression compared to wood frogs, regardless of exposure. Greater understanding of these defences will ultimately help conservationists manage chytridiomycosis.

  1. Occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in anurans of the Mediterranean region of Baja California, México

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peralta-Garcia, Anny; Adams, Andrea J.; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Galina-Tessaro, Patricia; Valdez-Villavicencio, Jorge H.; Hollingsworth, Bradford; Shaffer, H. Bradley; Fisher, Robert N.

    2018-01-01

     Chytridiomycosis is caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and is regarded as one of the most significant threats to global amphibian populations. In México, Bd was first reported in 2003 and has now been documented in 13 states. We visited 33 localities and swabbed 199 wild-caught anurans from 7 species (5 native, 2 exotic) across the Mediterranean region of the state of Baja California. Using quantitative PCR, Bd was detected in 94 individuals (47.2% of samples) at 25 of the 33 survey localities for 5 native and 1 exotic frog species. The exotic Xenopus laevis was the only species that tested completely negative for Bd. We found that remoteness, distance to agricultural land, and elevation were the best predictors of Bd presence. These are the first Bd-positive results for the state of Baja California and its presence should be regarded as an additional conservation threat to the region’s native frog species. 

  2. Heterogeneous occupancy and density estimates of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in waters of North America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tara Chestnut

    Full Text Available Biodiversity losses are occurring worldwide due to a combination of stressors. For example, by one estimate, 40% of amphibian species are vulnerable to extinction, and disease is one threat to amphibian populations. The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, is a contributor to amphibian declines worldwide. Bd research has focused on the dynamics of the pathogen in its amphibian hosts, with little emphasis on investigating the dynamics of free-living Bd. Therefore, we investigated patterns of Bd occupancy and density in amphibian habitats using occupancy models, powerful tools for estimating site occupancy and detection probability. Occupancy models have been used to investigate diseases where the focus was on pathogen occurrence in the host. We applied occupancy models to investigate free-living Bd in North American surface waters to determine Bd seasonality, relationships between Bd site occupancy and habitat attributes, and probability of detection from water samples as a function of the number of samples, sample volume, and water quality. We also report on the temporal patterns of Bd density from a 4-year case study of a Bd-positive wetland. We provide evidence that Bd occurs in the environment year-round. Bd exhibited temporal and spatial heterogeneity in density, but did not exhibit seasonality in occupancy. Bd was detected in all months, typically at less than 100 zoospores L(-1. The highest density observed was ∼3 million zoospores L(-1. We detected Bd in 47% of sites sampled, but estimated that Bd occupied 61% of sites, highlighting the importance of accounting for imperfect detection. When Bd was present, there was a 95% chance of detecting it with four samples of 600 ml of water or five samples of 60 mL. Our findings provide important baseline information to advance the study of Bd disease ecology, and advance our understanding of amphibian exposure to free

  3. Prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in three species of wild frogs on Prince Edward Island, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forzán, M J; Vanderstichel, R; Hogan, N S; Teather, K; Wood, J

    2010-09-02

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has resulted in the decline or extinction of approximately 200 frog species worldwide. It has been reported throughout much of North America, but its presence on Prince Edward Island (PEI), on the eastern coast of Canada, was unknown. To determine the presence and prevalence of Bd on PEI, skin swabs were collected from 115 frogs from 18 separate sites across the province during the summer of 2009. The swabs were tested through single round end-point PCR for the presence of Bd DNA. Thirty-one frogs were positive, including 25/93 (27%) green frogs Lithobates (Rana) clamitans, 5/20 (25%) northern leopard frogs L. (R.) pipiens, and 1/2 (50%) wood frogs L. sylvaticus (formerly R. sylvatica); 12 of the 18 (67%) sites had at least 1 positive frog. The overall prevalence of Bd infection was estimated at 26.9% (7.2-46.7%, 95% CI). Prevalence amongst green frogs and leopard frogs was similar, but green frogs had a stronger PCR signal when compared to leopard frogs, regardless of age (p frogs, juveniles were more frequently positive than adults (p = 0.001). Green frogs may be the most reliable species to sample when looking for Bd in eastern North America. The 1 wood frog positive for Bd was found dead from chytridiomycosis; none of the other frogs that were positive for Bd by PCR showed any obvious signs of illness. Further monitoring will be required to determine what effect Bd infection has on amphibian population health on PEI.

  4. Itraconazole treatment reduces Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence and increases overwinter field survival in juvenile Cascades frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, Bennett M; Pope, Karen L; Piovia-Scott, Jonah; Brown, Richard N; Foley, Janet E

    2015-01-15

    The global spread of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has led to widespread extirpation of amphibian populations. During an intervention aimed at stabilizing at-risk populations, we treated wild-caught Cascades frogs Rana cascadae with the antifungal drug itraconazole. In fall 2012, we collected 60 recently metamorphosed R. cascadae from 1 of the 11 remnant populations in the Cascades Mountains (CA, USA). Of these, 30 randomly selected frogs were treated with itraconazole and the other 30 frogs served as experimental controls; all were released at the capture site. Bd prevalence was low at the time of treatment and did not differ between treated frogs and controls immediately following treatment. Following release, Bd prevalence gradually increased in controls but not in treated frogs, with noticeable (but still non-significant) differences 3 wk after treatment (27% [4/15] vs. 0% [0/13]) and strong differences 5 wk after treatment (67% [8/12] vs. 13% [1/8]). We did not detect any differences in Bd prevalence and load between experimental controls and untreated wild frogs during this time period. In spring 2013, we recaptured 7 treated frogs but none of the experimental control frogs, suggesting that over-winter survival was higher for treated frogs. The itraconazole treatment did appear to reduce growth rates: treated frogs weighed 22% less than control frogs 3 wk after treatment (0.7 vs. 0.9 g) and were 9% shorter than control frogs 5 wk after treatment (18.4 vs. 20.2 mm). However, for critically small populations, increased survival of the most at-risk life stage could prevent or delay extinction. Our results show that itraconazole treatment can be effective against Bd infection in wild amphibians, and therefore the beneficial effects on survivorship may outweigh the detrimental effects on growth.

  5. The Effect of Human Impact on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence in Taricha torosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, V.; Macario, E.; Tumey, C.

    2014-12-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is emerging as a major cause of the amphibian extinction. As amphibians serve an important role as indicator species in their ecosystem and play a vital role in the food chain, Bd will not only affect the amphibian population but also the health of the environment. Bd is an aquatic fungus that blocks the porous skin of amphibians which interrupts electrolyte, gas and water transfer. This imbalances the electrolyte system which causes cells and organs to malfunction, therefore killing the amphibian. While frogs are more common for Bd, it is not often found in newts. However, Dr. Vance Vredenburg recently found an outbreak of Bd in Taricha torosa in Marin Headlands, California. This location was used in the research as the sample site with most human impact and was expected to have the highest prevalence according to the proposed hypothesis that more human impact will correspond with a higher prevalence of Bd. Decreasing the level of human impact, Fairfield Osborn Preserve and Galbreath Preserve were picked as the other sample sites. After the samples went through qPCR, all of them came back negative for Bd. These results did not support the hypothesis, however, it contributed data to explaining the dynamics of Bd when combined with Dr. Vance Vredenburg's data from 2 months earlier. Within the two months, there was a huge difference in the prevalence of Bd as it dropped from 88% to 0%. This shows that Taricha torosa does in fact get Bd. However, it is rarely detected because Bd is fast-acting and has high mortality rates. Therefore, it is least likely for current nonspecific surveys to swab the newts during a short but lethal Bd outbreak.

  6. Prevalence and pathogen load estimates for the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis are impacted by ITS DNA copy number variation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rebollar, Eria A.; Woodhams, Douglas C.; LaBumbard, Brandon

    2017-01-01

    in amphibians and white nose syndrome in bats. Chytridiomycosis is caused by the fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and B. salamandrivorans (Bsal), and is responsible for declines and extinctions of amphibians worldwide. Over a decade ago, a qPCR assay was developed to determine Bd prevalence...

  7. Heterogeneous occupancy and density estimates of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in waters of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chestnut, Tara E.; Anderson, Chauncey; Popa, Radu; Blaustein, Andrew R.; Voytek, Mary; Olson, Deanna H.; Kirshtein, Julie

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity losses are occurring worldwide due to a combination of stressors. For example, by one estimate, 40% of amphibian species are vulnerable to extinction, and disease is one threat to amphibian populations. The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a contributor to amphibian declines worldwide. Bd research has focused on the dynamics of the pathogen in its amphibian hosts, with little emphasis on investigating the dynamics of free-living Bd. Therefore, we investigated patterns of Bd occupancy and density in amphibian habitats using occupancy models, powerful tools for estimating site occupancy and detection probability. Occupancy models have been used to investigate diseases where the focus was on pathogen occurrence in the host. We applied occupancy models to investigate free-living Bd in North American surface waters to determine Bd seasonality, relationships between Bd site occupancy and habitat attributes, and probability of detection from water samples as a function of the number of samples, sample volume, and water quality. We also report on the temporal patterns of Bd density from a 4-year case study of a Bd-positive wetland. We provide evidence that Bd occurs in the environment year-round. Bd exhibited temporal and spatial heterogeneity in density, but did not exhibit seasonality in occupancy. Bd was detected in all months, typically at less than 100 zoospores L−1. The highest density observed was ∼3 million zoospores L−1. We detected Bd in 47% of sites sampled, but estimated that Bd occupied 61% of sites, highlighting the importance of accounting for imperfect detection. When Bd was present, there was a 95% chance of detecting it with four samples of 600 ml of water or five samples of 60 mL. Our findings provide important baseline information to advance the study of Bd disease ecology, and advance our understanding of amphibian exposure

  8. Salamander chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans) in the United States—Developing research, monitoring, and management strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Muths, Erin L.; Katz, Rachel A.; Canessa, Stefano; Adams, Michael J.; Ballard, Jennifer R.; Berger, Lee; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Coleman, Jeremy; Gray, Matthew J.; Harris, M. Camille; Harris, Reid N.; Hossack, Blake R.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; Kolby, Jonathan E.; Lips, Karen R.; Lovich, Robert E.; McCallum, Hamish I.; Mendelson, Joseph R.; Nanjappa, Priya; Olson, Deanna H.; Powers, Jenny G.; Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Watry, Mary Kay; Woodhams, Douglas C.; White, C. LeAnn

    2016-01-20

    The recently (2013) identified pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), poses a severe threat to the distribution and abundance of salamanders within the United States and Europe. Development of a response strategy for the potential, and likely, invasion of Bsal into the United States is crucial to protect global salamander biodiversity. A formal working group, led by Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins Science Center, and Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, was held at the USGS Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis in Fort Collins, Colorado, United States from June 23 to June 25, 2015, to identify crucial Bsal research and monitoring needs that could inform conservation and management strategies for salamanders in the United States. Key findings of the workshop included the following: (1) the introduction of Bsal into the United States is highly probable, if not inevitable, thus requiring development of immediate short-term and long-term intervention strategies to prevent Bsal establishment and biodiversity decline; (2) management actions targeted towards pathogen containment may be ineffective in reducing the long-term spread of Bsal throughout the United States; and (3) early detection of Bsal through surveillance at key amphibian import locations, among high-risk wild populations, and through analysis of archived samples is necessary for developing management responses. Top research priorities during the preinvasion stage included the following: (1) deployment of qualified diagnostic methods for Bsal and establishment of standardized laboratory practices, (2) assessment of susceptibility for amphibian hosts (including anurans), and (3) development and evaluation of short- and long-term pathogen intervention and management strategies. Several outcomes were achieved during the workshop, including development

  9. Do Frogs Get Their Kicks on Route 66? Continental U.S. Transect Reveals Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-21

    that the Bullfrog ( Rana catesbeiana ) is a potential carrier of chytridiomycosis, an emerging fungal disease of amphibians. Herp J 14: 201–207. 89... Rana catesbeiana in Venezuela. Biol Cons 120: 115–119. 90. Garner TWJ, Walker S, Bosch J, Hyatt AD, Cunningham AA, et al. (2006) The emerging amphibian...pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis globally infects introduced populations of the North American Bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana . Biol Lett 2: 455–459

  10. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov. causes lethal chytridiomycosis in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martel, An; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Blooi, Mark; Bert, Wim; Ducatelle, Richard; Fisher, Matthew C; Woeltjes, Antonius; Bosman, Wilbert; Chiers, Koen; Bossuyt, Franky; Pasmans, Frank

    2013-09-17

    The current biodiversity crisis encompasses a sixth mass extinction event affecting the entire class of amphibians. The infectious disease chytridiomycosis is considered one of the major drivers of global amphibian population decline and extinction and is thought to be caused by a single species of aquatic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. However, several amphibian population declines remain unexplained, among them a steep decrease in fire salamander populations (Salamandra salamandra) that has brought this species to the edge of local extinction. Here we isolated and characterized a unique chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov., from this salamander population. This chytrid causes erosive skin disease and rapid mortality in experimentally infected fire salamanders and was present in skin lesions of salamanders found dead during the decline event. Together with the closely related B. dendrobatidis, this taxon forms a well-supported chytridiomycete clade, adapted to vertebrate hosts and highly pathogenic to amphibians. However, the lower thermal growth preference of B. salamandrivorans, compared with B. dendrobatidis, and resistance of midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) to experimental infection with B. salamandrivorans suggest differential niche occupation of the two chytrid fungi.

  11. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and the collapse of anuran species richness and abundance in the Upper Manu National Park, Southeastern Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catenazzi, Alessandro; Lehr, Edgar; Rodriguez, Lily O; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2011-04-01

    Amphibians are declining worldwide, but these declines have been particularly dramatic in tropical mountains, where high endemism and vulnerability to an introduced fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is associated with amphibian extinctions. We surveyed frogs in the Peruvian Andes in montane forests along a steep elevational gradient (1200-3700 m). We used visual encounter surveys to sample stream-dwelling and arboreal species and leaf-litter plots to sample terrestrial-breeding species. We compared species richness and abundance among the wet seasons of 1999, 2008, and 2009. Despite similar sampling effort among years, the number of species (46 in 1999) declined by 47% between 1999 and 2008 and by 38% between 1999 and 2009. When we combined the number of species we found in 2008 and 2009, the decline from 1999 was 36%. Declines of stream-dwelling and arboreal species (a reduction in species richness of 55%) were much greater than declines of terrestrial-breeding species (reduction of 20% in 2008 and 24% in 2009). Similarly, abundances of stream-dwelling and arboreal frogs were lower in the combined 2008-2009 period than in 1999, whereas densities of frogs in leaf-litter plots did not differ among survey years. These declines may be associated with the infection of frogs with Bd. B. dendrobatidis prevalence correlated significantly with the proportion of species that were absent from the 2008 and 2009 surveys along the elevational gradient. Our results suggest Bd may have arrived at the site between 1999 and 2007, which is consistent with the hypothesis that this pathogen is spreading in epidemic waves along the Andean cordilleras. Our results also indicate a rapid decline of frog species richness and abundance in our study area, a national park that contains many endemic amphibian species and is high in amphibian species richness. ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Distribution and pathogenicity of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in boreal toads from the grand teton area of western wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, P.J.; St-Hilaire, S.; Bruer, S.; Corn, P.S.; Peterson, C.R.

    2009-01-01

    The pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the skin disease chytridiomycosis, has been linked to amphibian population declines and extinctions worldwide. Bd has been implicated in recent declines of boreal toads, Bufo boreas boreas, in Colorado but populations of boreal toads in western Wyoming have high prevalence of Bd without suffering catastrophic mortality. In a field and laboratory study, we investigated the prevalence of Bd in boreal toads from the Grand Teton ecosystem (GRTE) in Wyoming and tested the pathogenicity of Bd to these toads in several environments. The pathogen was present in breeding adults at all 10 sites sampled, with a mean prevalence of 67%. In an experiment with juvenile toadlets housed individually in wet environments, 106 zoospores of Bd isolated from GRTE caused lethal disease in all Wyoming and Colorado animals within 35 days. Survival time was longer in toadlets from Wyoming than Colorado and in toadlets spending more time in dry sites. In a second trial involving Colorado toadlets exposed to 35% fewer Bd zoospores, infection peaked and subsided over 68 days with no lethal chytridiomycosis in any treatment. However, compared with drier aquaria with dry refuges, Bd infection intensity was 41% higher in more humid aquaria and 81% higher without dry refuges available. Our findings suggest that although widely infected in nature, Wyoming toads may escape chytridiomycosis due to a slight advantage in innate resistance or because their native habitat hinders Bd growth or provides more opportunities to reduce pathogen loads behaviorally than in Colorado. ?? 2009 International Association for Ecology and Health.

  13. The lethal fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is present in lowland tropical forests of far eastern Panamá.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eria A Rebollar

    Full Text Available The fungal disease chytridiomycosis, caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, is one of the main causes of amphibian population declines and extinctions all over the world. In the Neotropics, this fungal disease has caused catastrophic declines in the highlands as it has spread throughout Central America down to Panamá. In this study, we determined the prevalence and intensity of Bd infection in three species of frogs in one highland and four lowland tropical forests, including two lowland regions in eastern Panamá in which the pathogen had not been detected previously. Bd was present in all the sites sampled with a prevalence ranging from 15-34%, similar to other Neotropical lowland sites. The intensity of Bd infection on individual frogs was low, ranging from average values of 0.11-24 zoospore equivalents per site. Our work indicates that Bd is present in anuran communities in lowland Panamá, including the Darién province, and that the intensity of the infection may vary among species from different habitats and with different life histories. The population-level consequences of Bd infection in amphibian communities from the lowlands remain to be determined. Detailed studies of amphibian species from the lowlands will be essential to determine the reason why these species are persisting despite the presence of the pathogen.

  14. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibians confiscated from illegal wildlife trade and used in an ex situ breeding program in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Paula, C D; Pacífico-Assis, E C; Catão-Dias, J L

    2012-03-20

    This paper describes an outbreak of chytridiomycosis affecting a group of Dendrobates tinctorius, a Neotropical anuran species, confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade and housed in a private zoo in Brazil as part of an ex situ breeding program. We examined histological sections of the skin of 30 D. tinctorius and 20 Adelphobates galactonotus individuals. Twenty D. tinctorius (66.7%) and none of the A. galactonotus were positive for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Multiple development stages of Bd infection were observed. The reasons for the inter-specific difference in the rate of infection could not be determined, and further studies are advised. Because the examined population consisted of confiscated frogs, detailed epidemiological aspects could not be investigated, and the source of the fungus remains uncertain. The existence of ex situ amphibian populations is important for protecting species at higher risk in the wild, and ex situ amphibian conservation and breeding programs in Brazil may be established using confiscated frogs as founders. However, this paper alerts these programs to the urgency of strict quarantine procedures to prevent the introduction of potential pathogens, particularly Bd, into ex situ conservation programs.

  15. Surviving chytridiomycosis: differential anti-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis activity in bacterial isolates from three lowland species of Atelopus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra V Flechas

    Full Text Available In the Neotropics, almost every species of the stream-dwelling harlequin toads (genus Atelopus have experienced catastrophic declines. The persistence of lowland species of Atelopus could be explained by the lower growth rate of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd at temperatures above 25 °C. We tested the complementary hypothesis that the toads' skin bacterial microbiota acts as a protective barrier against the pathogen, perhaps delaying or impeding the symptomatic phase of chytridiomycosis. We isolated 148 cultivable bacterial strains from three lowland Atelopus species and quantified the anti-Bd activity through antagonism assays. Twenty-six percent (38 strains representing 12 species of the bacteria inhibited Bd growth and just two of them were shared among the toad species sampled in different localities. Interestingly, the strongest anti-Bd activity was measured in bacteria isolated from A. elegans, the only species that tested positive for the pathogen. The cutaneous bacterial microbiota is thus likely a fitness-enhancing trait that may (adaptation or not (exaptation have appeared because of natural selection mediated by chytridiomycosis. Our findings reveal bacterial strains for development of local probiotic treatments against chytridiomycosis and also shed light on the mechanisms behind the frog-bacteria-pathogen interaction.

  16. Diversity of Andean amphibians of the Tamá National Natural Park in Colombia: a survey for the presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Acevedo, A.A.; Franco, R.; Carrero, D.A.

    2016-07-01

    Changes in diversity and possible decreases in populations of amphibians have not yet been determined in many areas in the Andes. This study aimed to develop an inventory of the biodiversity of amphibians in the Andean areas of the Tamá National Natural Park (Tamá NNP) and to evaluate the patterns of infection by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in preserved and degraded areas. We performed samplings focused on three habitats (forest, open areas and streams) in four localities from 2,000 to 3,200 m in altitude. Fourteen species were recorded, 12 of which were positive for Bd. A total of 541 individuals were diagnosed and 100 were positive. Our analyses showed that preserved areas play an important role in keeping many individuals Bd–free as compared to those in degraded areas. This was the first study to evaluate diversity and infection by Bd in the northeast region of Colombia. Our findings may help improve our knowledge of the diversity of amphibian species in the area and facilitate the implementation of action plans to mitigate the causes associated with the decrease in amphibian populations. (Author)

  17. Efficacy of treatment and long-term follow-up of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis PCR-positive anurans following itraconazole bath treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georoff, Timothy A; Moore, Robert P; Rodriguez, Carlos; Pessier, Allan P; Newton, Alisa L; McAloose, Denise; Calle, Paul P

    2013-06-01

    All anuran specimens in the Wildlife Conservation Society's collections testing positive for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) were treated with itraconazole and then studied after treatment to assess the long-term effects of itraconazole and the drug's effectiveness in eliminating Bd carriers. Twenty-four individuals and eight colonies of 11 different species (75 total specimens) tested positive for Bd via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on multicollection survey. All positive individuals and colonies were treated with a 0.01% itraconazole bath solution and retested for Bd via one of two PCR methodologies within 14 days of treatment completion, and all were negative for Bd. A total of 64 animals received secondary follow-up PCR testing at the time of death, 6-8 mo, or 12-15 mo post-treatment. Fourteen animals (14/64, 21.9%) were PCR positive for Bd on second follow-up. The highest percentage positive at second recheck were green-and-black poison dart frogs (Dendrobates auratus; 5/5 specimens, 100%), followed by red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas; 4/11, 36.4%), grey tree frogs (Hyla versicolor; 1/3, 33.3%), and green tree frogs (Hyla cinera; 3/11, 27.3%). Re-testing by PCR performed on 26/28 individuals that died during the study indicated 11/26 (42.3%) were positive (all via DNA extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded skin sections). However, there was no histologic evidence of chytridiomycosis in any of 27/28 individuals. The small number of deceased animals and effects of postmortem autolysis limited the ability to determine statistical trends in the pathology data, but none of the necropsied specimens showed evidence of itraconazole toxicity. Problems with itraconazole may be species dependent, and this report expands the list of species that can tolerate treatment. Although itraconazole is effective for clearance of most individuals infected with Bd, results of the study suggest that repeat itraconazole treatment and follow-up diagnostics may

  18. Endemic infection of the amphibian chytrid fungus in a frog community post-decline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard W R Retallick

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in the decline and extinction of numerous frog species worldwide. In Queensland, Australia, it has been proposed as the cause of the decline or apparent extinction of at least 14 high-elevation rainforest frog species. One of these, Taudactylus eungellensis, disappeared from rainforest streams in Eungella National Park in 1985-1986, but a few remnant populations were subsequently discovered. Here, we report the analysis of B. dendrobatidis infections in toe tips of T. eungellensis and sympatric species collected in a mark-recapture study between 1994 and 1998. This longitudinal study of the fungus in individually marked frogs sheds new light on the effect of this threatening infectious process in field, as distinct from laboratory, conditions. We found a seasonal peak of infection in the cooler months, with no evidence of interannual variation. The overall prevalence of infection was 18% in T. eungellensis and 28% in Litoria wilcoxii/jungguy, a sympatric frog that appeared not to decline in 1985-1986. No infection was found in any of the other sympatric species. Most importantly, we found no consistent evidence of lower survival in T. eungellensis that were infected at the time of first capture, compared with uninfected individuals. These results refute the hypothesis that remnant populations of T. eungellensis recovered after a B. dendrobatidis epidemic because the pathogen had disappeared. They show that populations of T. eungellensis now persist with stable, endemic infections of B. dendrobatidis.

  19. Endemic infection of the amphibian chytrid fungus in a frog community post-decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Retallick, Richard W R; McCallum, Hamish; Speare, Rick

    2004-11-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in the decline and extinction of numerous frog species worldwide. In Queensland, Australia, it has been proposed as the cause of the decline or apparent extinction of at least 14 high-elevation rainforest frog species. One of these, Taudactylus eungellensis, disappeared from rainforest streams in Eungella National Park in 1985-1986, but a few remnant populations were subsequently discovered. Here, we report the analysis of B. dendrobatidis infections in toe tips of T. eungellensis and sympatric species collected in a mark-recapture study between 1994 and 1998. This longitudinal study of the fungus in individually marked frogs sheds new light on the effect of this threatening infectious process in field, as distinct from laboratory, conditions. We found a seasonal peak of infection in the cooler months, with no evidence of interannual variation. The overall prevalence of infection was 18% in T. eungellensis and 28% in Litoria wilcoxii/jungguy, a sympatric frog that appeared not to decline in 1985-1986. No infection was found in any of the other sympatric species. Most importantly, we found no consistent evidence of lower survival in T. eungellensis that were infected at the time of first capture, compared with uninfected individuals. These results refute the hypothesis that remnant populations of T. eungellensis recovered after a B. dendrobatidis epidemic because the pathogen had disappeared. They show that populations of T. eungellensis now persist with stable, endemic infections of B. dendrobatidis.

  20. Drivers of salamander extirpation mediated by Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stegen, Gwij; Pasmans, Frank; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Rouffaer, Lieze O; Van Praet, Sarah; Schaub, Michael; Canessa, Stefano; Laudelout, Arnaud; Kinet, Thierry; Adriaensen, Connie; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Bert, Wim; Bossuyt, Franky; Martel, An

    2017-04-19

    The recent arrival of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe was followed by rapid expansion of its geographical distribution and host range, confirming the unprecedented threat that this chytrid fungus poses to western Palaearctic amphibians. Mitigating this hazard requires a thorough understanding of the pathogen's disease ecology that is driving the extinction process. Here, we monitored infection, disease and host population dynamics in a Belgian fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) population for two years immediately after the first signs of infection. We show that arrival of this chytrid is associated with rapid population collapse without any sign of recovery, largely due to lack of increased resistance in the surviving salamanders and a demographic shift that prevents compensation for mortality. The pathogen adopts a dual transmission strategy, with environmentally resistant non-motile spores in addition to the motile spores identified in its sister species B. dendrobatidis. The fungus retains its virulence not only in water and soil, but also in anurans and less susceptible urodelan species that function as infection reservoirs. The combined characteristics of the disease ecology suggest that further expansion of this fungus will behave as a 'perfect storm' that is able to rapidly extirpate highly susceptible salamander populations across Europe.

  1. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans and the risk of a second amphibian pandemic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Tiffany A.; Nguyen, Natalie T.; Serr, Megan; Shepak, Alex; Vredenburg, Vance

    2017-01-01

    Amphibians are experiencing devastating population declines globally. A major driver is chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). Bdwas described in 1999 and has been linked with declines since the 1970s, while Bsal is a more recently discovered pathogen that was described in 2013. It is hypothesized that Bsaloriginated in Asia and spread via international trade to Europe, where it has been linked to salamander die-offs. Trade in live amphibians thus represents a significant threat to global biodiversity in amphibians. We review the current state of knowledge regarding Bsal and describe the risk of Bsal spread. We discuss regional responses to Bsal and barriers that impede a rapid, coordinated global effort. The discovery of a second deadly emerging chytrid fungal pathogen in amphibians poses an opportunity for scientists, conservationists, and governments to improve global biosecurity and further protect humans and wildlife from a growing number of emerging infectious diseases.

  2. Effects of pond salinization on survival rate of amphibian hosts infected with the chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockwell, Michelle Pirrie; Storrie, Lachlan James; Pollard, Carla Jean; Clulow, John; Mahony, Michael Joseph

    2015-04-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in the decline and extinction of amphibian populations worldwide, but management options are limited. Recent studies show that sodium chloride (NaCl) has fungicidal properties that reduce the mortality rates of infected hosts in captivity. We investigated whether similar results can be obtained by adding salt to water bodies in the field. We increased the salinity of 8 water bodies to 2 or 4 ppt and left an additional 4 water bodies with close to 0 ppt and monitored salinity for 18 months. Captively bred tadpoles of green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea) were released into each water body and their development, levels of B. dendrobatidis infection, and survival were monitored at 1, 4, and 12 months. The effect of salt on the abundance of nontarget organisms was also investigated in before and after style analyses. Salinities remained constant over time with little intervention. Hosts in water bodies with 4 ppt salt had a significantly lower prevalence of chytrid infection and higher survival, following metamorphosis, than hosts in 0 ppt salt. Tadpoles in the 4 ppt group were smaller in length after 1 month in the release site than those in the 0 and 2 ppt groups, but after metamorphosis body size in all water bodies was similar . In water bodies with 4 ppt salt, the abundance of dwarf tree frogs (Litoria fallax), dragonfly larvae, and damselfly larvae was lower than in water bodies with 0 and 2 ppt salt, which could have knock-on effects for community structure. Based on our results, salt may be an effective field-based B. dendrobatidis mitigation tool for lentic amphibians that could contribute to the conservation of numerous susceptible species. However, as in all conservation efforts, these benefits need to be weighed against negative effects on both target and nontarget organisms. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  3. Do Frogs Still Get Their Kicks On Route 66? A Transcontinental Transect For Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis) Infection On U.S. Department Of Defense Installations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-04

    Daszak P, Strieby A, Cunningham AA, Longcore JE, Brown CC, Porter D (2004) Experimental evidence that the bullfrog ( Rana catesbeiana ) is a potential...Leopard Frog ( Rana pipiens) populations suggest intraspecies differences in resistance to pathogens. Develop Comp Immunol33: 1247-1257. Vredenburg VT...Woodhams DC, Hyatt AD, Boyle DG, Rollins-Smith LA (2007a) The Northern Leopard Frog Rana pipiens is a widespread reservoir species harboring

  4. Evidence of a salt refuge: chytrid infection loads are suppressed in hosts exposed to salt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockwell, M P; Clulow, J; Mahony, M J

    2015-03-01

    With the incidence of emerging infectious diseases on the rise, it is becoming increasingly important to identify refuge areas that protect hosts from pathogens and therefore prevent population declines. For the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, temperature and humidity refuge areas for amphibian hosts exist but are difficult to manipulate. Other environmental features that may affect the outcome of infection include water quality, drying regimes, abundance of alternate hosts and isolation from other hosts. We identified relationships between water bodies with these features and infection levels in the free-living hosts inhabiting them. Where significant relationships were identified, we used a series of controlled experiments to test for causation. Infection loads were negatively correlated with the salt concentration of the aquatic habitat and the degree of water level fluctuation and positively correlated with fish abundance. However, only the relationship with salt was confirmed experimentally. Free-living hosts inhabiting water bodies with mean salinities of up to 3.5 ppt had lower infection loads than those exposed to less salt. The experiment confirmed that exposure to sodium chloride concentrations >2 ppt significantly reduced host infection loads compared to no exposure (0 ppt). These results suggest that the exposure of amphibians to salt concentrations found naturally in lentic habitats may be responsible for the persistence of some susceptible species in the presence of B. dendrobatidis. By manipulating the salinity of water bodies, it may be possible to create refuges for declining amphibians, thus allowing them to be reintroduced to their former ranges.

  5. Successful treatment of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans infections in salamanders requires synergy between voriconazole, polymyxin E and temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blooi, M; Pasmans, F; Rouffaer, L; Haesebrouck, F; Vercammen, F; Martel, A

    2015-06-30

    Chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) poses a serious threat to urodelan diversity worldwide. Antimycotic treatment of this disease using protocols developed for the related fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), results in therapeutic failure. Here, we reveal that this therapeutic failure is partly due to different minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of antimycotics against Bsal and Bd. In vitro growth inhibition of Bsal occurs after exposure to voriconazole, polymyxin E, itraconazole and terbinafine but not to florfenicol. Synergistic effects between polymyxin E and voriconazole or itraconazole significantly decreased the combined MICs necessary to inhibit Bsal growth. Topical treatment of infected fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra), with voriconazole or itraconazole alone (12.5 μg/ml and 0.6 μg/ml respectively) or in combination with polymyxin E (2000 IU/ml) at an ambient temperature of 15 °C during 10 days decreased fungal loads but did not clear Bsal infections. However, topical treatment of Bsal infected animals with a combination of polymyxin E (2000 IU/ml) and voriconazole (12.5 μg/ml) at an ambient temperature of 20 °C resulted in clearance of Bsal infections. This treatment protocol was validated in 12 fire salamanders infected with Bsal during a field outbreak and resulted in clearance of infection in all animals.

  6. Exciting new discovery for the chytrid mystery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-02-24

    The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis , is thought to affect over 500 amphibian species worldwide. But, as Georgina Mills explains, new research has now shed light on what could make some individuals more susceptible. British Veterinary Association.

  7. Sodium chloride inhibits the growth and infective capacity of the amphibian chytrid fungus and increases host survival rates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle Pirrie Stockwell

    Full Text Available The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a recently emerged pathogen that causes the infectious disease chytridiomycosis and has been implicated as a contributing factor in the global amphibian decline. Since its discovery, research has been focused on developing various methods of mitigating the impact of chytridiomycosis on amphibian hosts but little attention has been given to the role of antifungal agents that could be added to the host's environment. Sodium chloride is a known antifungal agent used routinely in the aquaculture industry and this study investigates its potential for use as a disease management tool in amphibian conservation. The effect of 0-5 ppt NaCl on the growth, motility and survival of the chytrid fungus when grown in culture media and its effect on the growth, infection load and survivorship of infected Peron's tree frogs (Litoria peronii in captivity, was investigated. The results reveal that these concentrations do not negatively affect the survival of the host or the pathogen. However, concentrations greater than 3 ppt significantly reduced the growth and motility of the chytrid fungus compared to 0 ppt. Concentrations of 1-4 ppt NaCl were also associated with significantly lower host infection loads while infected hosts exposed to 3 and 4 ppt NaCl were found to have significantly higher survival rates. These results support the potential for NaCl to be used as an environmentally distributed antifungal agent for the prevention of chytridiomycosis in susceptible amphibian hosts. However, further research is required to identify any negative effects of salt exposure on both target and non-target organisms prior to implementation.

  8. The development of a spatially-explicit, individual-based, disease model for frogs and the chytrid fungus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background / Question / Methods The fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (BD), has been associated with amphibian population declines and even extinctions worldwide. Transmission of the fungus between amphibian hosts occurs via motile zoospores, which are produced on...

  9. Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in Madagascar neither Shows Widespread Presence nor Signs of Certain Establishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Skerratt, Lee F

    2015-01-01

    The global spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) is associated with amphibian mass mortality, population decline, and extinction. Over the past decade, concern has been expressed for the potential introduction of Bd to Madagascar, a global hotspot of amphibian biodiversity. Following years without detection, widespread Bd presence in Madagascar has now been reported (Bletz et al. 2015a), raising international conservation concern. Before reacting to this finding with a significant management response, the accuracy and context of the data warrant cautious review. Re-examination of a 10-year dataset together with results from more recent surveillance (Kolby et al. 2015) does not yet demonstrate widespread Bd presence. Detection of Bd at "positive" locations in Madagascar has been inconsistent for unknown reasons. Whether Bd is established in Madagascar (i.e. populations are self-sustaining) or instead requires continued introduction to persist also remains uncertain. The deployment of emergency conservation rescue initiatives is expected to target areas where the distribution of Bd and the risk of chytridiomycosis endangering amphibians is believed to overlap. Thus, erroneous description of Bd presence would misdirect limited conservation resources. Standardized surveillance and confirmatory surveys are now imperative to reliably characterize the distribution, potential spread, virulence and overall risk of Bd to amphibians in Madagascar.

  10. Effects of the amphibian chytrid fungus and four insecticides on Pacific treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhez, Peter; Boone, Michelle D.; Fellers, Gary

    2012-01-01

    Chemical contamination may influence host-pathogen interactions, which has implications for amphibian population declines. We examined the effects of four insecticides alone or as a mixture on development and metamorphosis of Pacific Treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla) in the presence or absence of the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis [Bd]). Bd exposure had a negative impact on tadpole activity, survival to metamorphosis, time to metamorphosis, and time of tail absorption (with a marginally negative effect on mass at metamorphosis); however, no individuals tested positive for Bd at metamorphosis. The presence of sublethal concentrations of insecticides alone or in a mixture did not impact Pacific Treefrog activity as tadpoles, survival to metamorphosis, or time and size to metamorphosis. Insecticide exposure did not influence the effect of Bd exposure. Our study did not support our prediction that effects of Bd would be greater in the presence of expected environmental concentrations of insecticide(s), but it did show that Bd had negative effects on responses at metamorphosis that could reduce the quality of juveniles recruited into the population.

  11. Genome-wide transcriptional response of Silurana (Xenopus tropicalis to infection with the deadly chytrid fungus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica Bree Rosenblum

    Full Text Available Emerging infectious diseases are of great concern for both wildlife and humans. Several highly virulent fungal pathogens have recently been discovered in natural populations, highlighting the need for a better understanding of fungal-vertebrate host-pathogen interactions. Because most fungal pathogens are not fatal in the absence of other predisposing conditions, host-pathogen dynamics for deadly fungal pathogens are of particular interest. The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (hereafter Bd infects hundreds of species of frogs in the wild. It is found worldwide and is a significant contributor to the current global amphibian decline. However, the mechanism by which Bd causes death in amphibians, and the response of the host to Bd infection, remain largely unknown. Here we use whole-genome microarrays to monitor the transcriptional responses to Bd infection in the model frog species, Silurana (Xenopus tropicalis, which is susceptible to chytridiomycosis. To elucidate the immune response to Bd and evaluate the physiological effects of chytridiomycosis, we measured gene expression changes in several tissues (liver, skin, spleen following exposure to Bd. We detected a strong transcriptional response for genes involved in physiological processes that can help explain some clinical symptoms of chytridiomycosis at the organismal level. However, we detected surprisingly little evidence of an immune response to Bd exposure, suggesting that this susceptible species may not be mounting efficient innate and adaptive immune responses against Bd. The weak immune response may be partially explained by the thermal conditions of the experiment, which were optimal for Bd growth. However, many immune genes exhibited decreased expression in Bd-exposed frogs compared to control frogs, suggesting a more complex effect of Bd on the immune system than simple temperature-mediated immune suppression. This study generates important baseline data for ongoing

  12. Antibacterial therapeutics for the treatment of chytrid infection in amphibians: Columbus’s egg?

    OpenAIRE

    Muijsers, Mariska; Martel, An; Van Rooij, Pascale; Baert, Kris; Vercauteren, Griet; Ducatelle, Richard; De Backer, Patrick; Vercammen, Francis; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background The establishment of safe and effective protocols to treat chytridiomycosis in amphibians is urgently required. In this study, the usefulness of antibacterial agents to clear chytridiomycosis from infected amphibians was evaluated. Results Florfenicol, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine and the combination of trimethoprim and sulfonamides were active in vitro against cultures of five Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis strains containing sporangia and zoospores, with minimum inhibi...

  13. Chytrid fungus infections in laboratory and introducedXenopus laevispopulations: assessing the risks for U.K. native amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinsley, Richard C; Coxhead, Peter G; Stott, Lucy C; Tinsley, Matthew C; Piccinni, Maya Z; Guille, Matthew J

    2015-04-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ) is notorious amongst current conservation biology challenges, responsible for mass mortality and extinction of amphibian species. World trade in amphibians is implicated in global dissemination. Exports of South African Xenopus laevis have led to establishment of this invasive species on four continents. Bd naturally infects this host in Africa and now occurs in several introduced populations. However, no previous studies have investigated transfer of infection into co-occurring native amphibian faunas. A survey of 27 U.K. institutions maintaining X . laevis for research showed that most laboratories have low-level infection, a risk for native species if animals are released into the wild. RT-PCR assays showed Bd in two introduced U.K. populations of X . laevis , in Wales and Lincolnshire. Laboratory and field studies demonstrated that infection levels increase with stress, especially low temperature. In the U.K., native amphibians may be exposed to intense transmission in spring when they enter ponds to spawn alongside X . laevis that have cold-elevated Bd infections. Exposure to cross-infection has probably been recurrent since the introduction of X . laevis , >20 years in Lincolnshire and 50 years in Wales. These sites provide an important test for assessing the impact of X . laevis on Bd spread. However, RT-PCR assays on 174 native amphibians ( Bufo , Rana , Lissotriton and Triturus spp.), sympatric with the Bd -infected introduced populations, showed no foci of self-sustaining Bd transmission associated with X . laevis . The abundance of these native amphibians suggested no significant negative population-level effect after the decades of co-occurrence.

  14. 75 FR 56975 - Injurious Wildlife Species; Review of Information Concerning a Petition To List All Live...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-17

    ... Petition To List All Live Amphibians in Trade as Injurious Unless Free of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of inquiry. SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and... their eggs in trade as injurious unless certified as free of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (chytrid...

  15. Long-term monitoring of tropical alpine habitat change, Andean anurans, and chytrid fungus in the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru: Results from a decade of study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seimon, Tracie A; Seimon, Anton; Yager, Karina; Reider, Kelsey; Delgado, Amanda; Sowell, Preston; Tupayachi, Alfredo; Konecky, Bronwen; McAloose, Denise; Halloy, Stephan

    2017-03-01

    The Cordillera Vilcanota in southern Peru is the second largest glacierized range in the tropics and home to one of the largest high-alpine lakes, Sibinacocha (4,860 m). Here, Telmatobius marmoratus (marbled water frog), Rhinella spinulosa (Andean toad), and Pleurodema marmoratum (marbled four-eyed frog) have expanded their range vertically within the past century to inhabit newly formed ponds created by ongoing deglaciation. These anuran populations, geographically among the highest (5,200-5,400 m) recorded globally, are being impacted by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ), and the disease it causes, chytridiomycosis. In this study, we report results from over a decade of monitoring these three anuran species, their habitat, and Bd infection status. Our observations reveal dynamic changes in habitat including ongoing rapid deglaciation (18.4 m/year widening of a corridor between retreating glaciers from 2005 to 2015), new pond formation, changes in vegetation in amphibian habitat, and widespread occurrence of Bd in amphibians in seven sites. Three of these sites have tested positive for Bd over a 9- to 12-year period. In addition, we observed a widespread reduction in T. marmoratus encounters in the Vilcanota in 2008, 2009, and 2012, while encounters increased in 2013 and 2015. Despite the rapid and dynamic changes in habitat under a warming climate, continued presence of Bd in the environment for over a decade, and a reduction in one of three anuran species, we document that these anurans continue to breed and survive in this high Andean environment. High variability in anuran encounters across sites and plasticity in these populations across habitats, sites, and years are all factors that could favor repopulation postdecline. Preserving the connectivity of wetlands in the Cordillera Vilcanota is therefore essential in ensuring that anurans continue to breed and adapt as climate change continues to reshape the environment.

  16. Nothing a hot bath won't cure: infection rates of amphibian chytrid fungus correlate negatively with water temperature under natural field settings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Forrest

    Full Text Available Dramatic declines and extinctions of amphibian populations throughout the world have been associated with chytridiomycosis, an infectious disease caused by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Previous studies indicated that Bd prevalence correlates with cooler temperatures in the field, and laboratory experiments have demonstrated that Bd ceases growth at temperatures above 28°C. Here we investigate how small-scale variations in water temperature correlate with Bd prevalence in the wild. We sampled 221 amphibians, including 201 lowland leopard frogs (Rana [Lithobates] yavapaiensis, from 12 sites in Arizona, USA, and tested them for Bd. Amphibians were encountered in microhabitats that exhibited a wide range of water temperatures (10-50°C, including several geothermal water sources. There was a strong inverse correlation between the water temperature in which lowland leopard frogs were captured and Bd prevalence, even after taking into account the influence of year, season, and host size. In locations where Bd was known to be present, the prevalence of Bd infections dropped from 75-100% in water 30°C. A strong inverse correlation between Bd infection status and water temperature was also observed within sites. Our findings suggest that microhabitats where water temperatures exceed 30°C provide lowland leopard frogs with significant protection from Bd, which could have important implications for disease dynamics, as well as management applications.There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them--Sylvia Plath, "The Bell Jar" (1963.

  17. Seasonal pattern of chytridiomycosis in common river frog ( Amietia ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Environmental parameters such as temperature and rainfall influence the biology of amphibians and are likely to similarly influence the growth and prevalence of associated pathogens. Amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), causes an infectious disease, chytridiomycosis, in amphibians worldwide.

  18. Factors related to the distribution and prevalence of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dentrobatidis in Rana cascadae and other amphibians in the Klamath Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonah Piovia-Scott; Karen L. Pope; Sharon P. Lawler; Esther M. Cole; Janet E. Foley

    2011-01-01

    The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the disease chytridiomycosis, has been associated with declines and extinctions of montane amphibians worldwide. To gain insight into factors affecting its distribution and prevalence we focus on the amphibian community of the Klamath Mountains in northwest...

  19. Antibacterial therapeutics for the treatment of chytrid infection in amphibians: Columbus’s egg?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muijsers Mariska

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The establishment of safe and effective protocols to treat chytridiomycosis in amphibians is urgently required. In this study, the usefulness of antibacterial agents to clear chytridiomycosis from infected amphibians was evaluated. Results Florfenicol, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine and the combination of trimethoprim and sulfonamides were active in vitro against cultures of five Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis strains containing sporangia and zoospores, with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC of 0.5-1.0 μg/ml for florfenicol and 8.0 μg/ml for the sulfonamides. Trimethoprim was not capable of inhibiting growth but, combined with sulfonamides, reduced the time to visible growth inhibition by the sulfonamides. Growth inhibition of B. dendrobatidis was not observed after exposure to clindamycin, doxycycline, enrofloxacin, paromomycin, polymyxin E and tylosin. Cultures of sporangia and zoospores of B. dendrobatidis strains JEL423 and IA042 were killed completely after 14 days of exposure to 100 μg/ml florfenicol or 16 μg/ml trimethoprim combined with 80 μg/ml sulfadiazine. These concentrations were, however, not capable of efficiently killing zoospores within 4 days after exposure as assessed using flow cytometry. Florfenicol concentrations remained stable in a bathing solution during a ten day period. Exposure of Discoglossus scovazzi tadpoles for ten days to 100 μg/ml but not to 10 μg florfenicol /ml water resulted in toxicity. In an in vivo trial, post metamorphic Alytes muletensis, experimentally inoculated with B. dendrobatidis, were treated topically with a solution containing 10 μg/ml of florfenicol during 14 days. Although a significant reduction of the B. dendrobatidis load was obtained, none of the treated animals cleared the infection. Conclusions We thus conclude that, despite marked anti B. dendrobatidis activity in vitro, the florfenicol treatment used is not capable of eliminating B

  20. Antibacterial therapeutics for the treatment of chytrid infection in amphibians: Columbus's egg?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muijsers, Mariska; Martel, An; Van Rooij, Pascale; Baert, Kris; Vercauteren, Griet; Ducatelle, Richard; De Backer, Patrick; Vercammen, Francis; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2012-09-25

    The establishment of safe and effective protocols to treat chytridiomycosis in amphibians is urgently required. In this study, the usefulness of antibacterial agents to clear chytridiomycosis from infected amphibians was evaluated. Florfenicol, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine and the combination of trimethoprim and sulfonamides were active in vitro against cultures of five Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis strains containing sporangia and zoospores, with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of 0.5-1.0 μg/ml for florfenicol and 8.0 μg/ml for the sulfonamides. Trimethoprim was not capable of inhibiting growth but, combined with sulfonamides, reduced the time to visible growth inhibition by the sulfonamides. Growth inhibition of B. dendrobatidis was not observed after exposure to clindamycin, doxycycline, enrofloxacin, paromomycin, polymyxin E and tylosin. Cultures of sporangia and zoospores of B. dendrobatidis strains JEL423 and IA042 were killed completely after 14 days of exposure to 100 μg/ml florfenicol or 16 μg/ml trimethoprim combined with 80 μg/ml sulfadiazine. These concentrations were, however, not capable of efficiently killing zoospores within 4 days after exposure as assessed using flow cytometry. Florfenicol concentrations remained stable in a bathing solution during a ten day period. Exposure of Discoglossus scovazzi tadpoles for ten days to 100 μg/ml but not to 10 μg florfenicol /ml water resulted in toxicity. In an in vivo trial, post metamorphic Alytes muletensis, experimentally inoculated with B. dendrobatidis, were treated topically with a solution containing 10 μg/ml of florfenicol during 14 days. Although a significant reduction of the B. dendrobatidis load was obtained, none of the treated animals cleared the infection. We thus conclude that, despite marked anti B. dendrobatidis activity in vitro, the florfenicol treatment used is not capable of eliminating B. dendrobatidis infections from amphibians.

  1. Antibacterial therapeutics for the treatment of chytrid infection in amphibians: Columbus’s egg?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The establishment of safe and effective protocols to treat chytridiomycosis in amphibians is urgently required. In this study, the usefulness of antibacterial agents to clear chytridiomycosis from infected amphibians was evaluated. Results Florfenicol, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine and the combination of trimethoprim and sulfonamides were active in vitro against cultures of five Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis strains containing sporangia and zoospores, with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of 0.5-1.0 μg/ml for florfenicol and 8.0 μg/ml for the sulfonamides. Trimethoprim was not capable of inhibiting growth but, combined with sulfonamides, reduced the time to visible growth inhibition by the sulfonamides. Growth inhibition of B. dendrobatidis was not observed after exposure to clindamycin, doxycycline, enrofloxacin, paromomycin, polymyxin E and tylosin. Cultures of sporangia and zoospores of B. dendrobatidis strains JEL423 and IA042 were killed completely after 14 days of exposure to 100 μg/ml florfenicol or 16 μg/ml trimethoprim combined with 80 μg/ml sulfadiazine. These concentrations were, however, not capable of efficiently killing zoospores within 4 days after exposure as assessed using flow cytometry. Florfenicol concentrations remained stable in a bathing solution during a ten day period. Exposure of Discoglossus scovazzi tadpoles for ten days to 100 μg/ml but not to 10 μg florfenicol /ml water resulted in toxicity. In an in vivo trial, post metamorphic Alytes muletensis, experimentally inoculated with B. dendrobatidis, were treated topically with a solution containing 10 μg/ml of florfenicol during 14 days. Although a significant reduction of the B. dendrobatidis load was obtained, none of the treated animals cleared the infection. Conclusions We thus conclude that, despite marked anti B. dendrobatidis activity in vitro, the florfenicol treatment used is not capable of eliminating B. dendrobatidis infections

  2. High prevalence of the amphibian chytrid pathogen in Gabon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Rayna C; Gata Garcia, Adriana V; Stuart, Bryan L; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2011-03-01

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis is an infectious disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) that is implicated in the worldwide decline and extinction of amphibians. Africa has been proposed as a potential source for the global expansion of Bd, yet the distribution of Bd across the continent remains largely unexplored. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), we screened for the presence of Bd in 166 adult anurans from two national parks in Gabon (Monts de Cristal and Ivindo). Bd was detected in 20 of the 42 species and was present at all three sites surveyed (two in Monts de Cristal, and one in Ivindo) with high prevalence (19.6%-36.0%). Both national parks were Bd-positive at all elevations and across habitat types, though no dead or dying frogs were encountered. To our knowledge, this study presents the first evidence of Bd in Gabon and the first record of infection for 19 of the 20 species that were Bd-positive. Documenting the distribution and virulence of Bd across Africa will be essential for understanding the dynamics of amphibian chytridiomycosis across the globe.

  3. Treatment of urodelans based on temperature dependent infection dynamics of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blooi, M; Martel, A; Haesebrouck, F; Vercammen, F; Bonte, D; Pasmans, F

    2015-01-27

    The recently emerged chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans currently causes amphibian population declines. We hypothesized that temperature dictates infection dynamics of B. salamandrivorans, and that therefore heat treatment may be applied to clear animals from infection. We examined the impact of environmental temperature on B. salamandrivorans infection and disease dynamics in fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). Colonization of salamanders by B. salamandrivorans occurred at 15°C and 20°C but not at 25°C, with a significantly faster buildup of infection load and associated earlier mortality at 15°C. Exposing B. salamandrivorans infected salamanders to 25°C for 10 days resulted in complete clearance of infection and clinically cured all experimentally infected animals. This treatment protocol was validated in naturally infected wild fire salamanders. In conclusion, we show that B. salamandrivorans infection and disease dynamics are significantly dictated by environmental temperature, and that heat treatment is a viable option for clearing B. salamandrivorans infections.

  4. Enhanced call effort in Japanese tree frogs infected by amphibian chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Deuknam; Waldman, Bruce

    2016-03-01

    Some amphibians have evolved resistance to the devastating disease chytridiomycosis, associated with global population declines, but immune defences can be costly. We recorded advertisement calls of male Japanese tree frogs (Hyla japonica) in the field. We then assessed whether individuals were infected by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the causal agent of the disease. This allowed us to analyse call properties of males as a function of their infection status. Infected males called more rapidly and produced longer calls than uninfected males. This enhanced call effort may reflect pathogen manipulation of host behaviour to foster disease transmission. Alternatively, increased calling may have resulted from selection on infected males to reproduce earlier because of their shortened expected lifespan. Our results raise the possibility that sublethal effects of Bd alter amphibian life histories, which contributes to long-term population declines. © 2016 The Author(s).

  5. Coqui frogs persist with the deadly chytrid fungus despite a lack of defensive antimicrobial peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Reinert, Laura K; Burrowes, Patricia A

    2015-02-10

    The amphibian skin fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) occurs widely in Puerto Rico and is thought to be responsible for the apparent extinction of 3 species of endemic frogs in the genus Eleutherodactylus, known as coquis. To examine immune defenses which may protect surviving species, we induced secretion of skin peptides from adult common coqui frogs E. coqui collected from upland forests at El Yunque. By matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry, we were unable to detect peptide signals suggestive of antimicrobial peptides, and enriched peptides showed no capacity to inhibit growth of Bd. Thus, it appears that E. coqui depend on other skin defenses to survive in the presence of this deadly fungus.

  6. Sleuthing out a silent scourge for amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreen Parks; Deanna (Dede) Olson

    2013-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), causes the infectious disease chytridiomycosis, which has triggered massive die-offs and extinctions of amphibians around the world. The disease, identified in 1998, is a significant contributor to the global amphibian biodiversity crisis, and no clear means of arresting its spread...

  7. Recent Emergence of a Chytrid Fungal Pathogen in California Cascades Frogs (Rana cascadae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    De León, Marina E; Vredenburg, Vance T; Piovia-Scott, Jonah

    2017-03-01

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been associated with global amphibian declines, but it is often difficult to discern the relative importance of Bd as a causal agent in declines that have already occurred. Retrospective analyses of museum specimens have allowed researchers to associate the timing of Bd arrival with the timing of past amphibian declines. Cascades frogs (Rana cascadae) have experienced dramatic declines in northern California, but it is not clear whether the onset of these declines corresponds to the arrival of Bd. We used quantitative real-time PCR assays of samples collected from museum specimens to determine historical Bd prevalence in the northern California range of Cascades frogs. We detected Bd in 13 of 364 (3.5%) Cascades frog specimens collected between 1907 and 2003, with the first positive result from 1978. A Bayesian analysis suggested that Bd arrived in the region between 1973 and 1978, which corresponds well with the first observations of declines in the 1980s.

  8. A model for the interaction of frog population dynamics with Batrachochytrium dendrobaties, Janthinobacterium lividium and temperature and its implication for chytridiomycosis management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackleh, Azmy S.; Carter, Jacoby; Chellamuthu, Vinodh K.; Ma, Baoling

    2016-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis is an emerging disease caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) that poses a serious threat to frog populations worldwide. Several studies have shown that inoculation of bacterial species Janthinobacterium lividum (Jl) can mitigate the impact of the disease. However, there are many questions regarding this interaction. A mathematical model of a frog population infected with chytridiomycosis is developed to investigate how the inoculation of Jl could reduce the impact of Bd disease on frogs. The model also illustrates the important role of temperature in disease dynamics. The model simulation results suggest possible control strategies for Jl to limit the impact of Bd in various scenarios. However, a better knowledge of Jl life cycle is needed to fully understand the interaction of Jl, Bd, temperature and frogs.

  9. Chytridiomycosis and seasonal mortality of tropical stream-associated frogs 15 years after introduction of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillott, Andrea D; Grogan, Laura F; Cashins, Scott D; McDonald, Keith R; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F

    2013-10-01

    Assessing the effects of diseases on wildlife populations can be difficult in the absence of observed mortalities, but it is crucial for threat assessment and conservation. We performed an intensive capture-mark-recapture study across seasons and years to investigate the effect of chytridiomycosis on demographics in 2 populations of the threatened common mist frog (Litoria rheocola) in the lowland wet tropics of Queensland, Australia. Infection prevalence was the best predictor for apparent survival probability in adult males and varied widely with season (0-65%). Infection prevalence was highest in winter months when monthly survival probabilities were low (approximately 70%). Populations at both sites exhibited very low annual survival probabilities (12-15%) but high recruitment (71-91%), which resulted in population growth rates that fluctuated seasonally. Our results suggest that even in the absence of observed mortalities and continued declines, and despite host-pathogen co-existence for multiple host generations over almost 2 decades, chytridiomycosis continues to have substantial seasonally fluctuating population-level effects on amphibian survival, which necessitates increased recruitment for population persistence. Similarly infected populations may thus be under continued threat from chytridiomycosis which may render them vulnerable to other threatening processes, particularly those affecting recruitment success. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Projecting the global distribution of the emerging amphibian fungal pathogen, batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, based on IPCC climate futures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisselle Yang Xie; Deanna H. Olson; Andrew R. Blaustein

    2016-01-01

    Projected changes in climate conditions are emerging as significant risk factors to numerous species, affecting habitat conditions and community interactions. Projections suggest species range shifts in response to climate change modifying environmental suitability and is supported by observational evidence. Both pathogens and their hosts can shift ranges with climate...

  11. Species-level correlates of susceptibility to the pathogenic amphibian fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betsy A. Bancroft; Barbara A. Han; Catherine L. Searle; Lindsay M. Biga; Deanna H. Olson; Lee B. Kats; Joshua J. Lawler; Andrew R. Blaustein

    2011-01-01

    Disease is often implicated as a factor in population declines of wildlife and plants. Understanding the characteristics that may predispose a species to infection by a particular pathogen can help direct conservation efforts. Recent declines in amphibian populations world-wide are a major conservation issue and may be caused in part by a fungal pathogen, ...

  12. Post-epizootic salamander persistence in a disease-free refugium suggests poor dispersal ability of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Stegen, Gwij; Bogaerts, Sergé; Canessa, Stefano; Steinfartz, Sebastian; Janssen, Nico; Bosman, Wilbert; Pasmans, Frank; Martel, An

    2018-02-28

    Lack of disease spill-over between adjacent populations has been associated with habitat fragmentation and the absence of population connectivity. We here present a case which describes the absence of the spill-over of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) between two connected subpopulations of fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). Based on neutrally evolving microsatellite loci, both subpopulations were shown to form a single genetic cluster, suggesting a shared origin and/or recent gene flow. Alpine newts (Ichthyosaura alpestris) and fire salamanders were found in the landscape matrix between the two sites, which are also connected by a stream and separated by no obvious physical barriers. Performing a laboratory trial using alpine newts, we confirmed that Bsal is unable to disperse autonomously. Vector-mediated dispersal may have been impeded by a combination of sub-optimal connectivity, limited dispersal ability of infected hosts and a lack of suitable dispersers following the rapid, Bsal-driven collapse of susceptible hosts at the source site. Although the exact cause remains unclear, the aggregate evidence suggests that Bsal may be a poorer disperser than previously hypothesized. The lack of Bsal dispersal between neighbouring salamander populations opens perspectives for disease management and stresses the necessity of implementing biosecurity measures preventing human-mediated spread.

  13. Experimental transmission of cutaneous chytridiomycosis in dendrobatid frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, D K; Lamirande, E W; Pessier, A P; Longcore, J E

    2001-01-01

    In a series of three experiments during March-October, 1998, two species of captive-bred poison dart frogs (Dendrobates tinctorius and D. auratus) were exposed to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a recently-described chytridiomycete fungus (chytrid) that was originally isolated from a blue poison dart frog (D. azureus). All frogs exposed to the chytrids developed a fatal skin disease, whereas none of the control frogs developed skin lesions. The most consistent clinical sign in chytrid-exposed frogs was excessive shedding of skin. Gross lesions were subtle, usually affected the legs and ventrum, and consisted of mild skin thickening and discoloration. Microscopic examination of shed skin pieces and/or skin imprints demonstrated the presence of chytrids and was used for ante mortem and post mortem confirmation of chytrid infection. Histologically, there was epidermal hyperkeratosis, hyperplasia, and hypertrophy associated with low to moderate numbers of chytrids in the keratinized layers. These experiments demonstrated that Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis can be a fatal pathogen in poison dart frogs. The experimentally-induced disease in these frogs resembled cases of cutaneous chytridiomycosis that have recently been described in several other species of captive and wild amphibians.

  14. Effects of nutrient supplementation on host-pathogen dynamics of the amphibian chytrid fungus: a community approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck, Julia C; Rohr, Jason R; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic stressors may influence hosts and their pathogens directly or may alter host-pathogen dynamics indirectly through interactions with other species. For example, in aquatic ecosystems, eutrophication may be associated with increased or decreased disease risk. Conversely, pathogens can influence community structure and function and are increasingly recognised as important members of the ecological communities in which they exist.In outdoor mesocosms, we experimentally manipulated nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and the presence of a fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and examined the effects on Bd abundance on larval amphibian hosts ( Pseudacris regilla : Hylidae), amphibian traits and community dynamics. We predicted that resource supplementation would mitigate negative effects of Bd on tadpole growth and development and that indirect effects of treatments would propagate through the community.Nutrient additions caused changes in algal growth, which benefitted tadpoles through increased mass, development and survival. Bd-exposed tadpoles metamorphosed sooner than unexposed individuals, but their mass at metamorphosis was not affected by Bd exposure. We detected additive rather than interactive effects of nutrient supplementation and Bd in this experiment.Nutrient supplementation was not a significant predictor of infection load of larval amphibians. However, a structural equation model revealed that resource supplementation and exposure of amphibians to Bd altered the structure of the aquatic community. This is the first demonstration that sublethal effects of Bd on amphibians can alter aquatic community dynamics.

  15. Population estimates of Dendrobates tinctorius (Anura: Dendrobatidae at three sites in French Guiana and first record of chytrid infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie A. Courtois

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The Neotropics shelter the highest number of frog species on Earth and is also one of the regions where anurans are most threatened. Nonetheless, few data are available to assess the population status of Neotropical anurans. We studied three populations (Tresor, Favard, and Nouragues of the poison frog, Dendrobates tinctorius, in French Guiana and used Capture-Mark-Recapture (CMR to make robust estimations of the species’ density at these three sites. In addition, we assessed the prevalence of the pathogen fungal Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd in two populations (Favard and Nouragues. Based on the CMR protocol, the densities of frogs was 8.43 individuals/100 m² at Favard, 4.28 individuals/100 m² at Nouragues and from 2.30 to 4.67 individuals/100 m² at Tresor (depending on the CMR model used; these data provide a baseline for population densities of D. tinctorius in French Guiana, against which future population estimates can be compared. We found that 25 encounter events may be sufficient for stable population estimates, if the captures are concentrated in time. Bd was detected at both sites (Favard 7/152; Nouragues 3/18.

  16. Seasonal Variation in Population Abundance and Chytrid Infection in Stream-Dwelling Frogs of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joice Ruggeri

    Full Text Available Enigmatic amphibian declines were first reported in southern and southeastern Brazil in the late 1980s and included several species of stream-dwelling anurans (families Hylodidae and Cycloramphidae. At that time, we were unaware of the amphibian-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd; therefore, pollution, habitat loss, fragmentation and unusual climatic events were hypothesized as primary causes of these declines. We now know that multiple lineages of Bd have infected amphibians of the Brazilian Atlantic forest for over a century, yet declines have not been associated specifically with Bd outbreaks. Because stream-dwelling anurans occupy an environmental hotspot ideal for disease transmission, we investigated temporal variation in population and infection dynamics of three stream-adapted species (Hylodes asper, H. phyllodes, and Cycloramphus boraceiensis on the northern coast of São Paulo state, Brazil. We surveyed standardized transects along streams for four years, and show that fluctuations in the number of frogs correlate with specific climatic variables that also increase the likelihood of Bd infections. In addition, we found that Bd infection probability in C. boraceiensis, a nocturnal species, was significantly higher than in Hylodes spp., which are diurnal, suggesting that the nocturnal activity may either facilitate Bd zoospore transmission or increase susceptibility of hosts. Our findings indicate that, despite long-term persistence of Bd in Brazil, some hosts persist with seasonally variable infections, and thus future persistence in the face of climate change will depend on the relative effect of those changes on frog recruitment and pathogen proliferation.

  17. Epidemic disease decimates amphibian abundance, species diversity, and evolutionary history in the highlands of central Panama

    OpenAIRE

    Crawford, Andrew J.; Lips, Karen R.; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2010-01-01

    Amphibian populations around the world are experiencing unprecedented declines attributed to a chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Despite the severity of the crisis, quantitative analyses of the effects of the epidemic on amphibian abundance and diversity have been unavailable as a result of the lack of equivalent data collected before and following disease outbreak. We present a community-level assessment combining long-term field surveys and DNA barcode data describing...

  18. Overview of chytrid emergence and impacts on amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lips, Karen R

    2016-12-05

    Chytridiomycosis is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians that affects over 700 species on all continents where amphibians occur. The amphibian-chytridiomycosis system is complex, and the response of any amphibian species to chytrid depends on many aspects of the ecology and evolutionary history of the amphibian, the genotype and phenotype of the fungus, and how the biological and physical environment can mediate that interaction. Impacts of chytridiomycosis on amphibians are varied; some species have been driven extinct, populations of others have declined severely, whereas still others have not obviously declined. Understanding patterns and mechanisms of amphibian responses to chytrids is critical for conservation and management. Robust estimates of population numbers are needed to identify species at risk, prioritize taxa for conservation actions, design management strategies for managing populations and species, and to develop effective measures to reduce impacts of chytrids on amphibians.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. Co-Infection by Chytrid Fungus and Ranaviruses in Wild and Harvested Frogs in the Tropical Andes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warne, Robin W; LaBumbard, Brandon; LaGrange, Seth; Vredenburg, Vance T; Catenazzi, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    While global amphibian declines are associated with the spread of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), undetected concurrent co-infection by other pathogens may be little recognized threats to amphibians. Emerging viruses in the genus Ranavirus (Rv) also cause die-offs of amphibians and other ectotherms, but the extent of their distribution globally, or how co-infections with Bd impact amphibians are poorly understood. We provide the first report of Bd and Rv co-infection in South America, and the first report of Rv infections in the amphibian biodiversity hotspot of the Peruvian Andes, where Bd is associated with extinctions. Using these data, we tested the hypothesis that Bd or Rv parasites facilitate co-infection, as assessed by parasite abundance or infection intensity within individual adult frogs. Co-infection occurred in 30% of stream-dwelling frogs; 65% were infected by Bd and 40% by Rv. Among terrestrial, direct-developing Pristimantis frogs 40% were infected by Bd, 35% by Rv, and 20% co-infected. In Telmatobius frogs harvested for the live-trade 49% were co-infected, 92% were infected by Bd, and 53% by Rv. Median Bd and Rv loads were similar in both wild (Bd = 101.2 Ze, Rv = 102.3 viral copies) and harvested frogs (Bd = 103.1 Ze, Rv = 102.7 viral copies). While neither parasite abundance nor infection intensity were associated with co-infection patterns in adults, these data did not include the most susceptible larval and metamorphic life stages. These findings suggest Rv distribution is global and that co-infection among these parasites may be common. These results raise conservation concerns, but greater testing is necessary to determine if parasite interactions increase amphibian vulnerability to secondary infections across differing life stages, and constitute a previously undetected threat to declining populations. Greater surveillance of parasite interactions may increase our capacity to contain and mitigate the impacts of these and other wildlife

  20. Integrating chytrid fungal parasites into plankton ecology: research gaps and needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenken, Thijs; Alacid, Elisabet; Berger, Stella A; Bourne, Elizabeth C; Gerphagnon, Mélanie; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Gsell, Alena S; Ibelings, Bas W; Kagami, Maiko; Küpper, Frithjof C; Letcher, Peter M; Loyau, Adeline; Miki, Takeshi; Nejstgaard, Jens C; Rasconi, Serena; Reñé, Albert; Rohrlack, Thomas; Rojas-Jimenez, Keilor; Schmeller, Dirk S; Scholz, Bettina; Seto, Kensuke; Sime-Ngando, Télesphore; Sukenik, Assaf; Van de Waal, Dedmer B; Van den Wyngaert, Silke; Van Donk, Ellen; Wolinska, Justyna; Wurzbacher, Christian; Agha, Ramsy

    2017-10-01

    Chytridiomycota, often referred to as chytrids, can be virulent parasites with the potential to inflict mass mortalities on hosts, causing e.g. changes in phytoplankton size distributions and succession, and the delay or suppression of bloom events. Molecular environmental surveys have revealed an unexpectedly large diversity of chytrids across a wide range of aquatic ecosystems worldwide. As a result, scientific interest towards fungal parasites of phytoplankton has been gaining momentum in the past few years. Yet, we still know little about the ecology of chytrids, their life cycles, phylogeny, host specificity and range. Information on the contribution of chytrids to trophic interactions, as well as co-evolutionary feedbacks of fungal parasitism on host populations is also limited. This paper synthesizes ideas stressing the multifaceted biological relevance of phytoplankton chytridiomycosis, resulting from discussions among an international team of chytrid researchers. It presents our view on the most pressing research needs for promoting the integration of chytrid fungi into aquatic ecology. © 2017 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Chytrid parasitism facilitates trophic transfer between bloom-forming cyanobacteria and zooplankton (Daphnia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Ramsy; Saebelfeld, Manja; Manthey, Christin; Rohrlack, Thomas; Wolinska, Justyna

    2016-10-13

    Parasites are rarely included in food web studies, although they can strongly alter trophic interactions. In aquatic ecosystems, poorly grazed cyanobacteria often dominate phytoplankton communities, leading to the decoupling of primary and secondary production. Here, we addressed the interface between predator-prey and host-parasite interactions by conducting a life-table experiment, in which four Daphnia galeata genotypes were maintained on quantitatively comparable diets consisting of healthy cyanobacteria or cyanobacteria infected by a fungal (chytrid) parasite. In four out of five fitness parameters, at least one Daphnia genotype performed better on parasitised cyanobacteria than in the absence of infection. Further treatments consisting of purified chytrid zoospores and heterotrophic bacteria suspensions established the causes of improved fitness. First, Daphnia feed on chytrid zoospores which trophically upgrade cyanobacterial carbon. Second, an increase in heterotrophic bacterial biomass, promoted by cyanobacterial decay, provides an additional food source for Daphnia. In addition, chytrid infection induces fragmentation of cyanobacterial filaments, which could render cyanobacteria more edible. Our results demonstrate that chytrid parasitism can sustain zooplankton under cyanobacterial bloom conditions, and exemplify the potential of parasites to alter interactions between trophic levels.

  2. Host identity matters in the amphibian-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis system: fine-scale patterns of variation in responses to a multi-host pathogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephanie Gervasi; Carmen Gondhalekar; Deanna H. Olson; Andrew R. Blaustein

    2013-01-01

    Species composition within ecological assemblages can drive disease dynamics including pathogen invasion, spread, and persistence. In multi-host pathogen systems, interspecific variation in responses to infection creates important context dependency when predicting the outcome of disease. Here, we examine the responses of three sympatric host species to a single fungal...

  3. Antimicrobial peptide defenses of the Tarahumara frog, Rana tarahumarae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Reinert, Laura K; Miera, Verma; Conlon, J Michael

    2002-09-20

    Populations of the Tarahumara frog Rana tarahumarae have decreased markedly in recent years in the northern part of their range. Infection by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in these declines. To determine whether antimicrobial peptides in the skin provide protection against this pathogen, norepinephrine-stimulated skin secretions were tested for their ability to inhibit growth of B. dendrobatidis in vitro. After concentration, crude mixtures of skin peptides inhibited the growth of the chytrid in a concentration-dependent manner. Proteomic analysis led to the identification and characterization of three peptides belonging to the brevinin-1 family of antimicrobial peptides and three belonging to the ranatuerin-2 family. The two most abundant peptides, ranatuerin-2TRa (GIMDSIKGAAKEIAGHLLDNLKCKITGC) and brevinin-1TRa (FLPVIAGIAANVLPKLFCKLTKRC), were active against B. dendrobatidis (MIC of 50 microM for ranatuerin-2TRa and 12.5 microM for brevinin-1TRa against zoospores). These data clearly show that antimicrobial peptides in the skin secretions of the Tarahumara frog are active against B. dendrobatidis and should provide some protection against infection. Therefore, the observed susceptibility of these frogs to this pathogen in the wild may be due to the effects of additional environmental factors that impair this innate defense mechanism, leading to the observed population declines.

  4. The Red Queen race between parasitic chytrids and their host, Planktothrix: a test using a time series reconstructed from sediment DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyle, Marcia; Haande, Sigrid; Ostermaier, Veronika; Rohrlack, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Parasitic chytrid fungi (phylum Chytridiomycota) are known to infect specific phytoplankton, including the filamentous cyanobacterium Planktothrix. Subspecies, or chemotypes of Planktothrix can be identified by the presence of characteristic oligopeptides. Some of these oligopeptides can be associated with important health concerns due to their potential for toxin production. However, the relationship between chytrid parasite and Planktothrix host is not clearly understood and more research is needed. To test the parasite-host relationship over time, we used a sediment core extracted from a Norwegian lake known to contain both multiple Planktothrix chemotype hosts and their parasitic chytrid. Sediment DNA of chytrids and Planktothrix was amplified and a 35-year coexistence was found. It is important to understand how these two antagonistic species can coexistence in a lake. Reconstruction of the time series showed that between 1979-1990 at least 2 strains of Planktothrix were present and parasitic pressure exerted by chytrids was low. After this period one chemotype became dominant and yet showed continued low susceptibility to chytrid parasitism. Either environmental conditions or intrinsic characteristics of Planktothrix could have been responsible for this continued dominance. One possible explanation could be found in the shift of Planktothrix to the metalimnion, an environment that typically consists of low light and decreased temperatures. Planktothrix are capable of growth under these conditions while the chytrid parasites are constrained. Another potential explanation could be due to the differences between cellular oligopeptide variations found between Planktothrix chemotypes. These oligopeptides can function as defense systems against chytrids. Our findings suggest that chytrid driven diversity was not maintained over time, but that the combination of environmental constraints and multiple oligopeptide production to combat chytrids could have allowed one

  5. The Red Queen race between parasitic chytrids and their host, Planktothrix: a test using a time series reconstructed from sediment DNA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcia Kyle

    Full Text Available Parasitic chytrid fungi (phylum Chytridiomycota are known to infect specific phytoplankton, including the filamentous cyanobacterium Planktothrix. Subspecies, or chemotypes of Planktothrix can be identified by the presence of characteristic oligopeptides. Some of these oligopeptides can be associated with important health concerns due to their potential for toxin production. However, the relationship between chytrid parasite and Planktothrix host is not clearly understood and more research is needed. To test the parasite-host relationship over time, we used a sediment core extracted from a Norwegian lake known to contain both multiple Planktothrix chemotype hosts and their parasitic chytrid. Sediment DNA of chytrids and Planktothrix was amplified and a 35-year coexistence was found. It is important to understand how these two antagonistic species can coexistence in a lake. Reconstruction of the time series showed that between 1979-1990 at least 2 strains of Planktothrix were present and parasitic pressure exerted by chytrids was low. After this period one chemotype became dominant and yet showed continued low susceptibility to chytrid parasitism. Either environmental conditions or intrinsic characteristics of Planktothrix could have been responsible for this continued dominance. One possible explanation could be found in the shift of Planktothrix to the metalimnion, an environment that typically consists of low light and decreased temperatures. Planktothrix are capable of growth under these conditions while the chytrid parasites are constrained. Another potential explanation could be due to the differences between cellular oligopeptide variations found between Planktothrix chemotypes. These oligopeptides can function as defense systems against chytrids. Our findings suggest that chytrid driven diversity was not maintained over time, but that the combination of environmental constraints and multiple oligopeptide production to combat chytrids

  6. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans: The North American response and a call for action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew J. Gray; James P. Lewis; Priya Nanjappa; Blake Klocke; Frank Pasmans; An Martel; Craig Stephen; Gabriela Parra Olea; Scott A. Smith; Allison Sacerdote-Velat; Michelle R. Christman; Jennifer M. Williams; Deanna H. Olson; Deborah A. Hogan

    2015-01-01

    Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is an emerging fungal pathogen that has caused recent die-offs of native salamanders in Europe and is known to be lethal to at least some North American species in laboratory trials [1]. Bsal appears to have originated in Asia, and may have been introduced by humans...

  7. [Chytridiomycosis in amphibians--first report in Europe].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutschmann, F; Berger, L; Zwart, P; Gaedicke, C

    2000-10-01

    Declining of amphibian populations is a worldwide phenomenon. A cutaneous mycosis as a cause of death in free-living amphibians as well as in captive ones due to an chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) was reported at first in 1998. This infections were reported hitherto from Australia, North, Central and South America. This is the first report on chytrid infections in captive anurans from Europe. Dendrobates auratus and D. pumilo imported from Costa Rica and P. vittatus imported from French Guayana died with chytridiomycosis within a week after arrival in Europe. Batrachocytrium was also found on captive bred frogs in Germany and Belgium. Clinical signs, diagnosis and conclusions for protecting free-living amphibian populations and captive frogs are discussed.

  8. Confronting inconsistencies in the amphibian-chytridiomycosis system: implications for disease management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venesky, Matthew D; Raffel, Thomas R; McMahon, Taegan A; Rohr, Jason R

    2014-05-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is one of the largest threats to wildlife and is putatively linked to the extirpation of numerous amphibians. Despite over a decade of research on Bd, conflicting results from a number of studies make it difficult to forecast where future epizootics will occur and how to manage this pathogen effectively. Here, we emphasize how resolving these conflicts will advance Bd management and amphibian conservation efforts. We synthesize current knowledge on whether Bd is novel or endemic, whether amphibians exhibit acquired resistance to Bd, the importance of host resistance versus tolerance to Bd, and how biotic (e.g. species richness) and abiotic factors (e.g. climate change) affect Bd abundance. Advances in our knowledge of amphibian-chytrid interactions might inform the management of fungal pathogens in general, which are becoming more common and problematic globally. © 2013 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2013 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  9. The precarious persistence of the endangered Sierra Madre yellow-legged frog Rana muscosa in southern California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backlin, Adam R.; Hitchcock, Cynthia J.; Gallegos, Elizabeth A.; Yee, Julie L.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2015-01-01

    We conducted surveys for the Endangered Sierra Madre yellow-legged frog Rana muscosa throughout southern California to evaluate the current distribution and status of the species. Surveys were conducted during 2000–2009 at 150 unique streams and lakes within the San Gabriel, San Bernardino, San Jacinto, and Palomar mountains of southern California. Only nine small, geographically isolated populations were detected across the four mountain ranges, and all tested positive for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Our data show that when R. muscosa is known to be present it is easily detectable (89%) in a single visit during the frog's active season. We estimate that only 166 adult frogs remained in the wild in 2009. Our research indicates that R. muscosa populations in southern California are threatened by natural and stochastic events and may become extirpated in the near future unless there is some intervention to save them.

  10. Spatial variation in risk and consequence of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans introduction in the USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Adams, Michael J.; White, C. LeAnn; Campbell Grant, Evan H.

    2016-01-01

    A newly identified fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), is responsible for mass mortality events and severe population declines in European salamanders. The eastern USA has the highest diversity of salamanders in the world and the introduction of this pathogen is likely to be devastating. Although data are inevitably limited for new pathogens, disease-risk assessments use best available data to inform management decisions. Using characteristics of Bsal ecology, spatial data on imports and pet trade establishments, and salamander species diversity, we identify high-risk areas with both a high likelihood of introduction and severe consequences for local salamanders. We predict that the Pacific coast, southern Appalachian Mountains and mid-Atlantic regions will have the highest relative risk from Bsal. Management of invasive pathogens becomes difficult once they are established in wildlife populations; therefore, import restrictions to limit pathogen introduction and early detection through surveillance of high-risk areas are priorities for preventing the next crisis for North American salamanders.

  11. Parasite fitness traits under environmental variation: disentangling the roles of a chytrid's immediate host and external environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van den Wyngaert, Silke; Vanholsbeeck, Olivier; Spaak, Piet; Ibelings, Bas W

    2014-10-01

    Parasite environments are heterogeneous at different levels. The first level of variability is the host itself. The second level represents the external environment for the hosts, to which parasites may be exposed during part of their life cycle. Both levels are expected to affect parasite fitness traits. We disentangle the main and interaction effects of variation in the immediate host environment, here the diatom Asterionella formosa (variables host cell volume and host condition through herbicide pre-exposure) and variation in the external environment (variables host density and acute herbicide exposure) on three fitness traits (infection success, development time and reproductive output) of a chytrid parasite. Herbicide exposure only decreased infection success in a low host density environment. This result reinforces the hypothesis that chytrid zoospores use photosynthesis-dependent chemical cues to locate its host. At high host densities, chemotaxis becomes less relevant due to increasing chance contact rates between host and parasite, thereby following the mass-action principle in epidemiology. Theoretical support for this finding is provided by an agent-based simulation model. The immediate host environment (cell volume) substantially affected parasite reproductive output and also interacted with the external herbicide exposed environment. On the contrary, changes in the immediate host environment through herbicide pre-exposure did not increase infection success, though it had subtle effects on zoospore development time and reproductive output. This study shows that both immediate host and external environment as well as their interaction have significant effects on parasite fitness. Disentangling these effects improves our understanding of the processes underlying parasite spread and disease dynamics.

  12. Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; McCallum, Hamish; Hudson, Peter J

    2008-11-11

    Human alteration of the environment has arguably propelled the Earth into its sixth mass extinction event and amphibians, the most threatened of all vertebrate taxa, are at the forefront. Many of the worldwide amphibian declines have been caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and two contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain these declines. Positive correlations between global warming and Bd-related declines sparked the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis, which proposes that global warming increased cloud cover in warm years that drove the convergence of daytime and nighttime temperatures toward the thermal optimum for Bd growth. In contrast, the spatiotemporal-spread hypothesis states that Bd-related declines are caused by the introduction and spread of Bd, independent of climate change. We provide a rigorous test of these hypotheses by evaluating (i) whether cloud cover, temperature convergence, and predicted temperature-dependent Bd growth are significant positive predictors of amphibian extinctions in the genus Atelopus and (ii) whether spatial structure in the timing of these extinctions can be detected without making assumptions about the location, timing, or number of Bd emergences. We show that there is spatial structure to the timing of Atelopus spp. extinctions but that the cause of this structure remains equivocal, emphasizing the need for further molecular characterization of Bd. We also show that the reported positive multi-decade correlation between Atelopus spp. extinctions and mean tropical air temperature in the previous year is indeed robust, but the evidence that it is causal is weak because numerous other variables, including regional banana and beer production, were better predictors of these extinctions. Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis. Although climate change is likely to play an important role in worldwide amphibian declines

  13. Exploring the binding properties and structural stability of an opsin in the chytrid Spizellomyces punctatus using comparative and molecular modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven R. Ahrendt

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Background Opsin proteins are seven transmembrane receptor proteins which detect light. Opsins can be classified into two types and share little sequence identity: type 1, typically found in bacteria, and type 2, primarily characterized in metazoa. The type 2 opsins (Rhodopsins are a subfamily of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs, a large and diverse class of seven transmembrane proteins and are generally restricted to metazoan lineages. Fungi use light receptors including opsins to sense the environment and transduce signals for developmental or metabolic changes. Opsins characterized in the Dikarya (Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes are of the type 1 bacteriorhodopsin family but the early diverging fungal lineages have not been as well surveyed. We identified by sequence similarity a rhodopsin-like GPCR in genomes of early diverging chytrids and examined the structural characteristics of this protein to assess its likelihood to be homologous to animal rhodopsins and bind similar chromophores. Methods We used template-based structure modeling, automated ligand docking, and molecular modeling to assess the structural and binding properties of an identified opsin-like protein found in Spizellomyces punctatus, a unicellular, flagellated species belonging to Chytridiomycota, one of the earliest diverging fungal lineages. We tested if the sequence and inferred structure were consistent with a solved crystal structure of a type 2 rhodopsin from the squid Todarodes pacificus. Results Our results indicate that the Spizellomyces opsin has structural characteristics consistent with functional animal type 2 rhodopsins and is capable of maintaining a stable structure when associated with the retinaldehyde chromophore, specifically the 9-cis-retinal isomer. Together, these results support further the homology of Spizellomyces opsins to animal type 2 rhodopsins. Discussion This represents the first test of structure/function relationship of a type 2 rhodopsin

  14. Electron microscopy of Chytridiomycosis and the need to re-examine the disease from the gene to the cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hyatt, A.; Siddon, N.; Speare, R.

    2003-01-01

    Full text: Over the past three decades there has been a global decline of amphibian populations. A variety of causative factors, including increased ultra violet radiation, habitat destruction and chemical pollution have been proposed; these, however, have not been correlated with all amphibian declines in the protected areas of Australia or overseas. During the past five years a network of electron microscopists, veterinary pathologists, molecular biologists and ecologists have been working on identifying the etiological agent. Examination of skin from a large number of dead and moribund frogs revealed 'a fungus belonging to the phylum Chytridiomycota and order Chytridiales. The fungus has been demonstrated to cause the disease chytridiomycosis which is now recognised as a fatal disease of amphibians and is the most common disease of Australian frogs. The fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) was originally identified by electron microscopy, and is the only member of the Chytridiomycota that causes disease in vertebrates. The fungus has a broad amphibian host range and occurs worldwide. A total of 94 amphibian species from 15 families have been found infected with B. dendrobatidis, from Australia, South America, Central America, North America, Europe, New Zealand and Africa. Electron microscopy (transmission, scanning, immuno and cryo) provided pivotal information on pathogen identification and understanding of the life cycle of the organism. However, what light and electron microscopy has not been able to elucidate is the cause of death within the infected animals. Many veterinary pathologists have examined the 'pathology' of the disease but are unable to agree on the probable causes (physiological processes) associated with the death of the infected animals. Two hypotheses exist the chytrid irreversibly affects the osmoregulatory ability of the amphibians and the chytrid releases a toxin that over time leads to the death of the animals. The cause of death

  15. Widespread occurrence of bd in French Guiana, South America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie A Courtois

    Full Text Available The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd is a purported agent of decline and extinction of many amphibian populations worldwide. Its occurrence remains poorly documented in many tropical regions, including the Guiana Shield, despite the area's high amphibian diversity. We conducted a comprehensive assessment of Bd in French Guiana in order to (1 determine its geographical distribution, (2 test variation of Bd prevalence among species in French Guiana and compare it to earlier reported values in other South American anuran species (http://www.bd-maps.net; 123 species from 15 genera to define sentinel species for future work, (3 track changes in prevalence through time and (4 determine if Bd presence had a negative effect on one selected species. We tested the presence of Bd in 14 species at 11 sites for a total of 1053 samples (306 in 2009 and 747 in 2012. At least one Bd-positive individual was found at eight out of 11 sites, suggesting a wide distribution of Bd in French Guiana. The pathogen was not uniformly distributed among the studied amphibian hosts, with Dendrobatidae species displaying the highest prevalence (12.4% as compared to Bufonidae (2.6 % and Hylidae (1.5%. In contrast to earlier reported values, we found highest prevalence for three Dendrobatidae species and two of them displayed an increase in Bd prevalence from 2009 to 2012. Those three species might be the sentinel species of choice for French Guiana. For Dendrobates tinctorius, of key conservation value in the Guiana Shield, smaller female individuals were more likely to be infected, suggesting either that frogs can outgrow their chytrid infections or that the disease induces developmental stress limiting growth. Generally, our study supports the idea that Bd is more widespread than previously thought and occurs at remote places in the lowland forest of the Guiana shield.

  16. Widespread occurrence of bd in French Guiana, South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtois, Elodie A; Gaucher, Philippe; Chave, Jérôme; Schmeller, Dirk S

    2015-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a purported agent of decline and extinction of many amphibian populations worldwide. Its occurrence remains poorly documented in many tropical regions, including the Guiana Shield, despite the area's high amphibian diversity. We conducted a comprehensive assessment of Bd in French Guiana in order to (1) determine its geographical distribution, (2) test variation of Bd prevalence among species in French Guiana and compare it to earlier reported values in other South American anuran species (http://www.bd-maps.net; 123 species from 15 genera) to define sentinel species for future work, (3) track changes in prevalence through time and (4) determine if Bd presence had a negative effect on one selected species. We tested the presence of Bd in 14 species at 11 sites for a total of 1053 samples (306 in 2009 and 747 in 2012). At least one Bd-positive individual was found at eight out of 11 sites, suggesting a wide distribution of Bd in French Guiana. The pathogen was not uniformly distributed among the studied amphibian hosts, with Dendrobatidae species displaying the highest prevalence (12.4%) as compared to Bufonidae (2.6 %) and Hylidae (1.5%). In contrast to earlier reported values, we found highest prevalence for three Dendrobatidae species and two of them displayed an increase in Bd prevalence from 2009 to 2012. Those three species might be the sentinel species of choice for French Guiana. For Dendrobates tinctorius, of key conservation value in the Guiana Shield, smaller female individuals were more likely to be infected, suggesting either that frogs can outgrow their chytrid infections or that the disease induces developmental stress limiting growth. Generally, our study supports the idea that Bd is more widespread than previously thought and occurs at remote places in the lowland forest of the Guiana shield.

  17. Susceptibility of amphibians to chytridiomycosis is associated with MHC class II conformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bataille, Arnaud; Cashins, Scott D.; Grogan, Laura; Skerratt, Lee F.; Hunter, David; McFadden, Michael; Scheele, Benjamin; Brannelly, Laura A.; Macris, Amy; Harlow, Peter S.; Bell, Sara; Berger, Lee; Waldman, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    The pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) can cause precipitous population declines in its amphibian hosts. Responses of individuals to infection vary greatly with the capacity of their immune system to respond to the pathogen. We used a combination of comparative and experimental approaches to identify major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) alleles encoding molecules that foster the survival of Bd-infected amphibians. We found that Bd-resistant amphibians across four continents share common amino acids in three binding pockets of the MHC-II antigen-binding groove. Moreover, strong signals of selection acting on these specific sites were evident among all species co-existing with the pathogen. In the laboratory, we experimentally inoculated Australian tree frogs with Bd to test how each binding pocket conformation influences disease resistance. Only the conformation of MHC-II pocket 9 of surviving subjects matched those of Bd-resistant species. This MHC-II conformation thus may determine amphibian resistance to Bd, although other MHC-II binding pockets also may contribute to resistance. Rescuing amphibian biodiversity will depend on our understanding of amphibian immune defence mechanisms against Bd. The identification of adaptive genetic markers for Bd resistance represents an important step forward towards that goal. PMID:25808889

  18. Trophic dynamics in an aquatic community: interactions among primary producers, grazers, and a pathogenic fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck, Julia C; Scholz, Katharina I; Rohr, Jason R; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2015-05-01

    Free-living stages of parasites are consumed by a variety of predators, which might have important consequences for predators, parasites, and hosts. For example, zooplankton prey on the infectious stage of the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogen responsible for amphibian population declines and extinctions worldwide. Predation on parasites is predicted to influence community structure and function, and affect disease risk, but relatively few studies have explored its consequences empirically. We investigated interactions among Rana cascadae tadpoles, zooplankton, and Bd in a fully factorial experiment in outdoor mesocosms. We measured growth, development, survival, and infection of amphibians and took weekly measurements of the abundance of zooplankton, phytoplankton (suspended algae), and periphyton (attached algae). We hypothesized that zooplankton might have positive indirect effects on tadpoles by consuming Bd zoospores and by consuming phytoplankton, thus reducing the shading of a major tadpole resource, periphyton. We also hypothesized that zooplankton would have negative effects on tadpoles, mediated by competition for algal resources. Mixed-effects models, repeated-measures ANOVAs, and a structural equation model revealed that zooplankton significantly reduced phytoplankton but had no detectable effects on Bd or periphyton. Hence, the indirect positive effects of zooplankton on tadpoles were negligible when compared to the indirect negative effect mediated by competition for phytoplankton. We conclude that examination of host-pathogen dynamics within a community context may be necessary to elucidate complex community dynamics.

  19. Climate, vegetation, introduced hosts and trade shape a global wildlife pandemic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xuan; Rohr, Jason R; Li, Yiming

    2013-02-22

    Global factors, such as climate change, international trade and introductions of exotic species are often elicited as contributors to the unprecedented rate of disease emergence, but few studies have partitioned these factors for global pandemics. Although contemporary correlative species distribution models (SDMs) can be useful for predicting the spatial patterns of emerging diseases, they focus mainly on the fundamental niche (FN) predictors (i.e. abiotic climate and habitat factors), neglecting dispersal and propagule pressure predictors (PP, number of non-native individuals released into a region). Using a validated, predictive and global SDM, we show that both FN and PP accounted for significant, unique variation to the distribution of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogen implicated in the declines and extinctions of over 200 amphibian species worldwide. Bd was associated positively with vegetation, total trade and introduced amphibian hosts, nonlinearly with annual temperature range and non-significantly with amphibian leg trade or amphibian species richness. These findings provide a rare example where both FN and PP factors are predictive of a global pandemic. Our model should help guide management of this deadly pathogen and the development of other globally predictive models for species invasions and pathogen emergence influenced by FN and PP factors.

  20. Unlikely remedy: fungicide clears infection from pathogenic fungus in larval southern leopard frogs (Lithobates sphenocephalus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shane M Hanlon

    Full Text Available Amphibians are often exposed to a wide variety of perturbations. Two of these, pesticides and pathogens, are linked to declines in both amphibian health and population viability. Many studies have examined the separate effects of such perturbations; however, few have examined the effects of simultaneous exposure of both to amphibians. In this study, we exposed larval southern leopard frog tadpoles (Lithobates sphenocephalus to the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and the fungicide thiophanate-methyl (TM at 0.6 mg/L under laboratory conditions. The experiment was continued until all larvae completed metamorphosis or died. Overall, TM facilitated increases in tadpole mass and length. Additionally, individuals exposed to both TM and Bd were heavier and larger, compared to all other treatments. TM also cleared Bd in infected larvae. We conclude that TM affects larval anurans to facilitate growth and development while clearing Bd infection. Our findings highlight the need for more research into multiple perturbations, specifically pesticides and disease, to further promote amphibian heath.

  1. Swabbing often fails to detect amphibian Chytridiomycosis under conditions of low infection load.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaehyub Shin

    Full Text Available The pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (denoted Bd, causes large-scale epizootics in naïve amphibian populations. Intervention strategies to rapidly respond to Bd incursions require sensitive and accurate diagnostic methods. Chytridiomycosis usually is assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR amplification of amphibian skin swabs. Results based on this method, however, sometimes yield inconsistent results on infection status and inaccurate scores of infection intensity. In Asia and other regions where amphibians typically bear low Bd loads, swab results are least reliable. We developed a Bd-sampling method that collects zoospores released by infected subjects into an aquatic medium. Bd DNA is extracted by filters and amplified by nested PCR. Using laboratory colonies and field populations of Bombina orientalis, we compare results with those obtained on the same subjects by qPCR of DNA extracted from swabs. Many subjects, despite being diagnosed as Bd-negative by conventional methods, released Bd zoospores into collection containers and thus must be considered infected. Infection loads determined from filtered water were at least 1000 times higher than those estimated from swabs. Subjects significantly varied in infection load, as they intermittently released zoospores, over a 5-day period. Thus, the method might be used to compare the infectivity of individuals and study the periodicity of zoospore release. Sampling methods based on water filtration can dramatically increase the capacity to accurately diagnose chytridiomycosis and contribute to a better understanding of the interactions between Bd and its hosts.

  2. Swabbing often fails to detect amphibian Chytridiomycosis under conditions of low infection load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Jaehyub; Bataille, Arnaud; Kosch, Tiffany A; Waldman, Bruce

    2014-01-01

    The pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (denoted Bd), causes large-scale epizootics in naïve amphibian populations. Intervention strategies to rapidly respond to Bd incursions require sensitive and accurate diagnostic methods. Chytridiomycosis usually is assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) amplification of amphibian skin swabs. Results based on this method, however, sometimes yield inconsistent results on infection status and inaccurate scores of infection intensity. In Asia and other regions where amphibians typically bear low Bd loads, swab results are least reliable. We developed a Bd-sampling method that collects zoospores released by infected subjects into an aquatic medium. Bd DNA is extracted by filters and amplified by nested PCR. Using laboratory colonies and field populations of Bombina orientalis, we compare results with those obtained on the same subjects by qPCR of DNA extracted from swabs. Many subjects, despite being diagnosed as Bd-negative by conventional methods, released Bd zoospores into collection containers and thus must be considered infected. Infection loads determined from filtered water were at least 1000 times higher than those estimated from swabs. Subjects significantly varied in infection load, as they intermittently released zoospores, over a 5-day period. Thus, the method might be used to compare the infectivity of individuals and study the periodicity of zoospore release. Sampling methods based on water filtration can dramatically increase the capacity to accurately diagnose chytridiomycosis and contribute to a better understanding of the interactions between Bd and its hosts.

  3. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alroy, John

    2015-10-20

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats.

  4. Epidemic disease decimates amphibian abundance, species diversity, and evolutionary history in the highlands of central Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Andrew J; Lips, Karen R; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2010-08-03

    Amphibian populations around the world are experiencing unprecedented declines attributed to a chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Despite the severity of the crisis, quantitative analyses of the effects of the epidemic on amphibian abundance and diversity have been unavailable as a result of the lack of equivalent data collected before and following disease outbreak. We present a community-level assessment combining long-term field surveys and DNA barcode data describing changes in abundance and evolutionary diversity within the amphibian community of El Copé, Panama, following a disease epidemic and mass-mortality event. The epidemic reduced taxonomic, lineage, and phylogenetic diversity similarly. We discovered that 30 species were lost, including five undescribed species, representing 41% of total amphibian lineage diversity in El Copé. These extirpations represented 33% of the evolutionary history of amphibians within the community, and variation in the degree of population loss and decline among species was random with respect to the community phylogeny. Our approach provides a fast, economical, and informative analysis of loss in a community whether measured by species or phylogenetic diversity.

  5. Dermal cytolytic peptides and the system of innate immunity in anurans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conlon, J Michael; Iwamuro, Shawichi; King, Jay D

    2009-04-01

    Cationic peptides with the propensity to adopt an amphipathic alpha-helical conformation in a membrane-mimetic environment are synthesized in the skin of many species of frogs. These peptides frequently display potent cytolytic activities against a range of pathogenic bacteria and fungi, consistent with the hypothesis that they play a role in host defense. However, the importance of the peptides in the survival strategy of the animal is not clearly understood. At this time, antimicrobial peptides have been identified in the skin of frogs from species belonging to the Bombinatoridae, Hylidae, Hyperoliidae, Leiopelmatidae, Leptodactylidae, Myobatrachidae, Pipidae, and Ranidae families, but several well-studied species from the Bufonidae, Ceratophryidae, Dicroglossidae, Microhylidae, Pelobatidae, Pyxicephalidae, Rhacophoridae, and Scaphiopodidae families do not appear to synthesize these peptides. Although cytolytic activity against the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, responsible for anuran population declines worldwide, has been demonstrated in vitro, the ability of frog skin antimicrobial peptides to protect the animal in the wild appears to be limited. While the production of dermal cytolytic peptides may offer definite evolutionary advantage to anurans, their precise biological function, for example during metamorphosis, may need to be re-evaluated.

  6. Infection increases vulnerability to climate change via effects on host thermal tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenspan, Sasha E; Bower, Deborah S; Roznik, Elizabeth A; Pike, David A; Marantelli, Gerry; Alford, Ross A; Schwarzkopf, Lin; Scheffers, Brett R

    2017-08-24

    Unprecedented global climate change and increasing rates of infectious disease emergence are occurring simultaneously. Infection with emerging pathogens may alter the thermal thresholds of hosts. However, the effects of fungal infection on host thermal limits have not been examined. Moreover, the influence of infections on the heat tolerance of hosts has rarely been investigated within the context of realistic thermal acclimation regimes and potential anthropogenic climate change. We tested for effects of fungal infection on host thermal tolerance in a model system: frogs infected with the chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Infection reduced the critical thermal maxima (CT max ) of hosts by up to ~4 °C. Acclimation to realistic daily heat pulses enhanced thermal tolerance among infected individuals, but the magnitude of the parasitism effect usually exceeded the magnitude of the acclimation effect. In ectotherms, behaviors that elevate body temperature may decrease parasite performance or increase immune function, thereby reducing infection risk or the intensity of existing infections. However, increased heat sensitivity from infections may discourage these protective behaviors, even at temperatures below critical maxima, tipping the balance in favor of the parasite. We conclude that infectious disease could lead to increased uncertainty in estimates of species' vulnerability to climate change.

  7. Major histocompatibility complex selection dynamics in pathogen-infected túngara frog (Physalaemus pustulosus) populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosch, Tiffany A; Bataille, Arnaud; Didinger, Chelsea; Eimes, John A; Rodríguez-Brenes, Sofia; Ryan, Michael J; Waldman, Bruce

    2016-08-01

    Pathogen-driven selection can favour major histocompatibility complex (MHC) alleles that confer immunological resistance to specific diseases. However, strong directional selection should deplete genetic variation necessary for robust immune function in the absence of balancing selection or challenges presented by other pathogens. We examined selection dynamics at one MHC class II (MHC-II) locus across Panamanian populations of the túngara frog, Physalaemus pustulosus, infected by the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). We compared MHC-II diversity in highland túngara frog populations, where amphibian communities have experienced declines owing to Bd, with those in the lowland region that have shown no evidence of decline. Highland region frogs had MHC variants that confer resistance to Bd. Variant fixation appeared to occur by directional selection rather than inbreeding, as overall genetic variation persisted in populations. In Bd-infected lowland sites, however, selective advantage may accrue to individuals with only one Bd-resistance allele, which were more frequent. Environmental conditions in lowlands should be less favourable for Bd infection, which may reduce selection for specific Bd resistance in hosts. Our results suggest that MHC selection dynamics fluctuate in túngara frog populations as a function of the favourability of habitat to pathogen spread and the vulnerability of hosts to infection. © 2016 The Author(s).

  8. Using a Bayesian network to clarify areas requiring research in a host-pathogen system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bower, D S; Mengersen, K; Alford, R A; Schwarzkopf, L

    2017-12-01

    Bayesian network analyses can be used to interactively change the strength of effect of variables in a model to explore complex relationships in new ways. In doing so, they allow one to identify influential nodes that are not well studied empirically so that future research can be prioritized. We identified relationships in host and pathogen biology to examine disease-driven declines of amphibians associated with amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). We constructed a Bayesian network consisting of behavioral, genetic, physiological, and environmental variables that influence disease and used them to predict host population trends. We varied the impacts of specific variables in the model to reveal factors with the most influence on host population trend. The behavior of the nodes (the way in which the variables probabilistically responded to changes in states of the parents, which are the nodes or variables that directly influenced them in the graphical model) was consistent with published results. The frog population had a 49% probability of decline when all states were set at their original values, and this probability increased when body temperatures were cold, the immune system was not suppressing infection, and the ambient environment was conducive to growth of B. dendrobatidis. These findings suggest the construction of our model reflected the complex relationships characteristic of host-pathogen interactions. Changes to climatic variables alone did not strongly influence the probability of population decline, which suggests that climate interacts with other factors such as the capacity of the frog immune system to suppress disease. Changes to the adaptive immune system and disease reservoirs had a large effect on the population trend, but there was little empirical information available for model construction. Our model inputs can be used as a base to examine other systems, and our results show that such analyses are useful tools for

  9. Inhibition of Fungal Pathogens across Genotypes and Temperatures by Amphibian Skin Bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carly R. Muletz-Wolz

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Symbiotic bacteria may dampen the impacts of infectious diseases on hosts by inhibiting pathogen growth. However, our understanding of the generality of pathogen inhibition by different bacterial taxa across pathogen genotypes and environmental conditions is limited. Bacterial inhibitory properties are of particular interest for the amphibian-killing fungal pathogens (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, for which probiotic applications as conservation strategies have been proposed. We quantified the inhibition strength of five putatively B. dendrobatidis-inhibitory bacteria isolated from woodland salamander skin against six Batrachochytrium genotypes at two temperatures (12 and 18°C. We selected six genotypes from across the Batrachochytrium phylogeny: B. salamandrivorans, B. dendrobatidis-Brazil and four genotypes of the B. dendrobatidis Global Panzootic Lineage (GPL1: JEL647, JEL404; GPL2: SRS810, JEL423. We performed 96-well plate challenge assays in a full factorial design. We detected a Batrachochytrium genotype by temperature interaction on bacterial inhibition score for all bacteria, indicating that bacteria vary in ability to inhibit Batrachochytrium depending on pathogen genotype and temperature. Acinetobacter rhizosphaerae moderately inhibited B. salamandrivorans at both temperatures (μ = 46–53%, but not any B. dendrobatidis genotypes. Chryseobacterium sp. inhibited three Batrachochytrium genotypes at both temperatures (μ = 5–71%. Pseudomonas sp. strain 1 inhibited all Batrachochytrium genotypes at 12°C and four Batrachochytrium genotypes at 18°C (μ = 5–100%. Pseudomonas sp. strain 2 and Stenotrophomonas sp. moderately to strongly inhibited all six Batrachochytrium genotypes at both temperatures (μ = 57–100%. All bacteria consistently inhibited B. salamandrivorans. Using cluster analysis of inhibition scores, we found that more closely related Batrachochytrium genotypes grouped together

  10. Antifungal Bacteria on Woodland Salamander Skin Exhibit High Taxonomic Diversity and Geographic Variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muletz-Wolz, Carly R; DiRenzo, Graziella V; Yarwood, Stephanie A; Campbell Grant, Evan H; Fleischer, Robert C; Lips, Karen R

    2017-05-01

    Diverse bacteria inhabit amphibian skin; some of those bacteria inhibit growth of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Yet there has been no systematic survey of anti- B. dendrobatidis bacteria across localities, species, and elevations. This is important given geographic and taxonomic variations in amphibian susceptibility to B. dendrobatidis Our collection sites were at locations within the Appalachian Mountains where previous sampling had indicated low B. dendrobatidis prevalence. We determined the numbers and identities of anti- B. dendrobatidis bacteria on 61 Plethodon salamanders (37 P. cinereus , 15 P. glutinosus , 9 P. cylindraceus ) via culturing methods and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We sampled co-occurring species at three localities and sampled P. cinereus along an elevational gradient (700 to 1,000 meters above sea level [masl]) at one locality. We identified 50 anti- B. dendrobatidis bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and found that the degree of B. dendrobatidis inhibition was not correlated with relatedness. Five anti- B. dendrobatidis bacterial strains occurred on multiple amphibian species at multiple localities, but none were shared among all species and localities. The prevalence of anti- B. dendrobatidis bacteria was higher at Shenandoah National Park (NP), VA, with 96% (25/26) of salamanders hosting at least one anti- B. dendrobatidis bacterial species compared to 50% (7/14) at Catoctin Mountain Park (MP), MD, and 38% (8/21) at Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area (NRA), VA. At the individual level, salamanders at Shenandoah NP had more anti- B. dendrobatidis bacteria per individual (μ = 3.3) than those at Catoctin MP (μ = 0.8) and at Mt. Rogers NRA (μ = 0.4). All salamanders tested negative for B. dendrobatidis Anti- B. dendrobatidis bacterial species are diverse in central Appalachian Plethodon salamanders, and their distribution varied geographically. The antifungal bacterial species that we identified may play a

  11. Distribution of frogs in rice bays within an irrigated agricultural area: links to pesticide usage and farm practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyne, Ross V; Spolyarich, Nick; Wilson, Scott P; Patra, Ronald W; Byrne, Maria; Gordon, Geoff; Sánchez-Bayo, Francisco; Palmer, Carolyn G

    2009-06-01

    In the Coleambally irrigation area (NSW, Australia), the occurrence of four tadpole and frog species in rice bays on farms growing either rice only or both rice and corn was studied over two seasons. In addition to analysis of species occurrence, both gonadal histology and assessment of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection rates were performed. The rice acreage available as potential tadpole habitat was extensively distributed throughout the irrigation area, but more corn was grown in the northern region compared with the southern region. The mean abundance of Litoria raniformis tadpoles was significantly lower in the northern sites compared with the southern sites. In contrast, tadpoles of Limnodynastes fletcheri, Limnodynastes tasmaniensis, and Crinia parinsignifera had a uniform distribution across all study sites. A principal components analysis showed a relationship between farm type and the rice herbicide applied when the crops were initially sown, with sites occupied by Litoria raniformis in the beginning being predominantly rice-only farms. A discriminant analysis showed that low concentrations of the corn herbicide metolachlor and increased pH were the main variables studied that determined site occupation by L. raniformis. This suggested that farms growing only rice (and not corn) with high algal production were the preferred sites. The rates of chytrid infection and gonadal malformations were low across both regions. Histology of the gonads of metamorphs showed that L. raniformis gonadal differentiation is slow compared to that of the two Limnodynastes species. We concluded that farm practices associated with increased corn cropping in the northern region, rather than any direct effect of corn herbicides, determine the reduced presence of Litoria raniformis in the northern region.

  12. Skin bacterial microbiome of a generalist Puerto Rican frog varies along elevation and land use gradients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Myra C. Hughey

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Host-associated microbial communities are ubiquitous among animals, and serve important functions. For example, the bacterial skin microbiome of amphibians can play a role in preventing or reducing infection by the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Evidence suggests that environmental bacteria likely serve as a source pool for at least some of the members of the amphibian skin bacterial community, underscoring the potential for local environmental changes to disrupt microbial community source pools that could be critical to the health of host organisms. However, few studies have assessed variation in the amphibian skin microbiome along clear environmental gradients, and so we know relatively little about how local environmental conditions influence microbiome diversity. We sampled the skin bacterial communities of Coqui frogs, Eleutherodactylus coqui (N = 77, along an elevational gradient in eastern Puerto Rico (0–875 m, with transects in two land use types: intact forest (N = 4 sites and disturbed (N = 3 sites forest. We found that alpha diversity (as assessed by Shannon, Simpson, and Phylogenetic Diversity indices varied across sites, but this variation was not correlated with elevation or land use. Beta diversity (community structure, on the other hand, varied with site, elevation and land use, primarily due to changes in the relative abundance of certain bacterial OTUs (∼species within these communities. Importantly, although microbiome diversity varied, E. coqui maintained a common core microbiota across all sites. Thus, our findings suggest that environmental conditions can influence the composition of the skin microbiome of terrestrial amphibians, but that some aspects of the microbiome remain consistent despite environmental variation.

  13. There is no evidence for a temporal link between pathogen arrival and frog extinctions in north-eastern Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben L Phillips

    Full Text Available Pathogen spread can cause population declines and even species extinctions. Nonetheless, in the absence of tailored monitoring schemes, documenting pathogen spread can be difficult. In the case of worldwide amphibian declines the best present understanding is that the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has recently spread, causing amphibian declines and extinction in the process. However, good evidence demonstrating pathogen arrival followed by amphibian decline is rare, and analysis of putative evidence is often inadequate. Here we attempt to examine the relationship between Bd arrival and amphibian decline across north-eastern Australia, using sites where a wave-like pattern of amphibian decline was first noticed and at which intensive research has since been conducted. We develop an analytical framework that allows rigorous estimation of pathogen arrival date, which can then be used to test for a correlation between the time of pathogen arrival and amphibian decline across sites. Our results show that, with the current dataset, the earliest possible arrival date of Bd in north-eastern Australia is completely unresolved; Bd could have arrived immediately before sampling commenced or may have arrived thousands of years earlier, the present data simply cannot say. The currently available data are thus insufficient to assess the link between timing of pathogen arrival and population decline in this part of the world. This data insufficiency is surprising given that there have been decades of research on chytridiomycosis in Australia and that there is a general belief that the link between Bd arrival and population decline is well resolved in this region. The lack of data on Bd arrival currently acts as a major impediment to determining the role of environmental factors in driving the global amphibian declines, and should be a major focus of future research.

  14. Potential interactions among disease, pesticides, water quality and adjacent land cover in amphibian habitats in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglin, William A.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Anderson, Chauncey; Calhoun, Daniel L.; Chestnut, Tara E.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    To investigate interactions among disease, pesticides, water quality, and adjacent land cover, we collected samples of water, sediment, and frog tissue from 21 sites in 7 States in the United States (US) representing a variety of amphibian habitats. All samples were analyzed for > 90 pesticides and pesticide degradates, and water and frogs were screened for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) using molecular methods. Pesticides and pesticide degradates were detected frequently in frog breeding habitats (water and sediment) as well as in frog tissue. Fungicides occurred more frequently in water, sediment, and tissue than was expected based upon their limited use relative to herbicides or insecticides. Pesticide occurrence in water or sediment was not a strong predictor of occurrence in tissue, but pesticide concentrations in tissue were correlated positively to agricultural and urban land, and negatively to forested land in 2-km buffers around the sites. Bd was detected in water at 45% of sites, and on 34% of swabbed frogs. Bd detections in water were not associated with differences in land use around sites, but sites with detections had colder water. Frogs that tested positive for Bd were associated with sites that had higher total fungicide concentrations in water and sediment, but lower insecticide concentrations in sediments relative to frogs that were Bd negative. Bd concentrations on frog swabs were positively correlated to dissolved organic carbon, and total nitrogen and phosphorus, and negatively correlated to pH and water temperature.Data were collected from a range of locations and amphibian habitats and represent some of the first field-collected information aimed at understanding the interactions between pesticides, land use, and amphibian disease. These interactions are of particular interest to conservation efforts as many amphibians live in altered habitats and may depend on wetlands embedded in these landscapes to

  15. Panamanian frog species host unique skin bacterial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa K. Belden

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Vertebrates, including amphibians, host diverse symbiotic microbes that contribute to host disease resistance. Globally, and especially in montane tropical systems, many amphibian species are threatened by a chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, that causes a lethal skin disease. Bd therefore may be a strong selective agent on the diversity and function of the microbial communities inhabiting amphibian skin. In Panamá, amphibian population declines and the spread of Bd have been tracked. In 2012, we completed a field survey in Panamá to examine frog skin microbiota in the context of Bd infection. We focused on three frog species and collected two skin swabs per frog from a total of 136 frogs across four sites that varied from west to east in the time since Bd arrival. One swab was used to assess bacterial community structure using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing and to determine Bd infection status, and one was used to assess metabolite diversity, as the bacterial production of anti-fungal metabolites is an important disease resistance function. The skin microbiota of the three Panamanian frog species differed in OTU (operational taxonomic unit, ~bacterial species community composition and metabolite profiles, although the pattern was less strong for the metabolites. Comparisons between frog skin bacterial communities from Panamá and the US suggest broad similarities at the phylum level, but key differences at lower taxonomic levels. In our field survey in Panamá, across all four sites, only 35 individuals (~26% were Bd infected. There was no clustering of OTUs or metabolite profiles based on Bd infection status and no clear pattern of west-east changes in OTUs or metabolite profiles across the four sites. Overall, our field survey data suggest that different bacterial communities might be producing broadly similar sets of metabolites across frog hosts and sites. Community structure and function may not be as tightly coupled in

  16. Influence of demography and environment on persistence in toad populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Brad A.; Schorr, Robert A.; Schneider, Scott C.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    Effective conservation of rare species requires an understanding of how potential threats affect population dynamics. Unfortunately, information about population demographics prior to threats (i.e., baseline data) is lacking for many species. Perturbations, caused by climate change, disease, or other stressors can lead to population declines and heightened conservation concerns. Boreal toads (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) have undergone rangewide declines due mostly to the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), with only a few sizable populations remaining in the southern Rocky Mountains, USA, that are disease-free. Despite the apparent region-wide occurrence of Bd, our focal populations in central Colorado were disease free over a 14-year capture-mark-recapture study until the recent discovery of Bd at one of the sites. We used recapture data and the Pradel reverse-time model to assess the influence of environmental and site-specific conditions on survival and recruitment. We then forecast changes in the toad populations with 2 growth models; one using an average lambda value to initiate the projection, and one using the most recent value to capture potential effects of the incursion of disease into the system. Adult survival was consistently high at the 3 sites, whereas recruitment was more variable and markedly low at 1 site. We found that active season moisture, active season length, and breeding shallows were important factors in estimating recruitment. Population growth models indicated a slight increase at 1 site but decreasing trends at the 2 other sites, possibly influenced by low recruitment. Insight into declining species management can be gained from information on survival and recruitment and how site-specific environmental factors influence these demographic parameters. Our data are particularly useful because they provide baseline data on demographics in populations before a disease outbreak and enhance our ability to detect changes

  17. Amphibian commerce as a likely source of pathogen pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picco, Angela M; Collins, James P

    2008-12-01

    The commercial trade of wildlife occurs on a global scale. In addition to removing animals from their native populations, this trade may lead to the release and subsequent introduction of nonindigenous species and the pathogens they carry. Emerging infectious diseases, such as chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and ranaviral disease have spread with global trade in amphibians and are linked to amphibian declines and die-offs worldwide, which suggests that the commercial trade in amphibians may be a source of pathogen pollution. We screened tiger salamanders involved in the bait trade in the western United States for both ranaviruses and Bd with polymerase chain reaction and used oral reports from bait shops and ranavirus DNA sequences from infected bait salamanders to determine how these animals and their pathogens are moved geographically by commerce. In addition, we conducted 2 surveys of anglers to determine how often tiger salamanders are used as bait and how often they are released into fishing waters by anglers, and organized bait-shop surveys to determine whether tiger salamanders are released back into the wild after being housed in bait shops. Ranaviruses were detected in the tiger salamander bait trade in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, and Bd was detected in Arizona bait shops. Ranaviruses were spread geographically through the bait trade. All tiger salamanders in the bait trade were collected from the wild, and in general they moved east to west and north to south, bringing with them their multiple ranavirus strains. Finally, 26-73% of anglers used tiger salamanders as fishing bait, 26-67% of anglers released tiger salamanders bought as bait into fishing waters, and 4% of bait shops released tiger salamanders back into the wild after they were housed in shops with infected animals. The tiger salamander bait trade in the western United States is a useful model for understanding the consequences of the

  18. Disease risk in temperate amphibian populations is higher at closed-canopy sites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Guilherme Becker

    Full Text Available Habitat loss and chytridiomycosis (a disease caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis - Bd are major drivers of amphibian declines worldwide. Habitat loss regulates host-pathogen interactions by altering biotic and abiotic factors directly linked to both host and pathogen fitness. Therefore, studies investigating the links between natural vegetation and chytridiomycosis require integrative approaches to control for the multitude of possible interactions of biological and environmental variables in spatial epidemiology. In this study, we quantified Bd infection dynamics across a gradient of natural vegetation and microclimates, looking for causal associations between vegetation cover, multiple microclimatic variables, and pathogen prevalence and infection intensity. To minimize the effects of host diversity in our analyses, we sampled amphibian populations in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, a region with relatively high single-host dominance. We sampled permanent ponds for anurans, focusing on populations of the habitat generalist frog Lithobates clamitans, and recorded various biotic and abiotic factors that potentially affect host-pathogen interactions: natural vegetation, canopy density, water temperature, and host population and community attributes. We screened for important explanatory variables of Bd infections and used path analyses to statistically test for the strength of cascading effects linking vegetation cover, microclimate, and Bd parameters. We found that canopy density, natural vegetation, and daily average water temperature were the best predictors of Bd. High canopy density resulted in lower water temperature, which in turn predicted higher Bd prevalence and infection intensity. Our results confirm that microclimatic shifts arising from changes in natural vegetation play an important role in Bd spatial epidemiology, with areas of closed canopy favoring Bd. Given increasing rates of anthropogenic

  19. DNA Extraction Method Affects the Detection of a Fungal Pathogen in Formalin-Fixed Specimens Using qPCR.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea J Adams

    Full Text Available Museum collections provide indispensable repositories for obtaining information about the historical presence of disease in wildlife populations. The pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has played a significant role in global amphibian declines, and examining preserved specimens for Bd can improve our understanding of its emergence and spread. Quantitative PCR (qPCR enables Bd detection with minimal disturbance to amphibian skin and is significantly more sensitive to detecting Bd than histology; therefore, developing effective qPCR methodologies for detecting Bd DNA in formalin-fixed specimens can provide an efficient and effective approach to examining historical Bd emergence and prevalence. Techniques for detecting Bd in museum specimens have not been evaluated for their effectiveness in control specimens that mimic the conditions of animals most likely to be encountered in museums, including those with low pathogen loads. We used American bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus of known infection status to evaluate the success of qPCR to detect Bd in formalin-fixed specimens after three years of ethanol storage. Our objectives were to compare the most commonly used DNA extraction method for Bd (PrepMan, PM to Macherey-Nagel DNA FFPE (MN, test optimizations for Bd detection with PM, and provide recommendations for maximizing Bd detection. We found that successful detection is relatively high (80-90% when Bd loads before formalin fixation are high, regardless of the extraction method used; however, at lower infection levels, detection probabilities were significantly reduced. The MN DNA extraction method increased Bd detection by as much as 50% at moderate infection levels. Our results indicate that, for animals characterized by lower pathogen loads (i.e., those most commonly encountered in museum collections, current methods may underestimate the proportion of Bd-infected amphibians. Those extracting DNA from

  20. DNA Extraction Method Affects the Detection of a Fungal Pathogen in Formalin-Fixed Specimens Using qPCR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Andrea J; LaBonte, John P; Ball, Morgan L; Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L; Toothman, Mary H; Briggs, Cheryl J

    2015-01-01

    Museum collections provide indispensable repositories for obtaining information about the historical presence of disease in wildlife populations. The pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has played a significant role in global amphibian declines, and examining preserved specimens for Bd can improve our understanding of its emergence and spread. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) enables Bd detection with minimal disturbance to amphibian skin and is significantly more sensitive to detecting Bd than histology; therefore, developing effective qPCR methodologies for detecting Bd DNA in formalin-fixed specimens can provide an efficient and effective approach to examining historical Bd emergence and prevalence. Techniques for detecting Bd in museum specimens have not been evaluated for their effectiveness in control specimens that mimic the conditions of animals most likely to be encountered in museums, including those with low pathogen loads. We used American bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) of known infection status to evaluate the success of qPCR to detect Bd in formalin-fixed specimens after three years of ethanol storage. Our objectives were to compare the most commonly used DNA extraction method for Bd (PrepMan, PM) to Macherey-Nagel DNA FFPE (MN), test optimizations for Bd detection with PM, and provide recommendations for maximizing Bd detection. We found that successful detection is relatively high (80-90%) when Bd loads before formalin fixation are high, regardless of the extraction method used; however, at lower infection levels, detection probabilities were significantly reduced. The MN DNA extraction method increased Bd detection by as much as 50% at moderate infection levels. Our results indicate that, for animals characterized by lower pathogen loads (i.e., those most commonly encountered in museum collections), current methods may underestimate the proportion of Bd-infected amphibians. Those extracting DNA from archived museum

  1. Whether the Weather Drives Patterns of Endemic Amphibian Chytridiomycosis: A Pathogen Proliferation Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Kris A.; Skerratt, Lee F.; Garland, Stephen; Kriticos, Darren; McCallum, Hamish

    2013-01-01

    The pandemic amphibian disease chytridiomycosis often exhibits strong seasonality in both prevalence and disease-associated mortality once it becomes endemic. One hypothesis that could explain this temporal pattern is that simple weather-driven pathogen proliferation (population growth) is a major driver of chytridiomycosis disease dynamics. Despite various elaborations of this hypothesis in the literature for explaining amphibian declines (e.g., the chytrid thermal-optimum hypothesis) it has not been formally tested on infection patterns in the wild. In this study we developed a simple process-based model to simulate the growth of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) under varying weather conditions to provide an a priori test of a weather-linked pathogen proliferation hypothesis for endemic chytridiomycosis. We found strong support for several predictions of the proliferation hypothesis when applied to our model species, Litoria pearsoniana, sampled across multiple sites and years: the weather-driven simulations of pathogen growth potential (represented as a growth index in the 30 days prior to sampling; GI30) were positively related to both the prevalence and intensity of Bd infections, which were themselves strongly and positively correlated. In addition, a machine-learning classifier achieved ∼72% success in classifying positive qPCR results when utilising just three informative predictors 1) GI30, 2) frog body size and 3) rain on the day of sampling. Hence, while intrinsic traits of the individuals sampled (species, size, sex) and nuisance sampling variables (rainfall when sampling) influenced infection patterns obtained when sampling via qPCR, our results also strongly suggest that weather-linked pathogen proliferation plays a key role in the infection dynamics of endemic chytridiomycosis in our study system. Predictive applications of the model include surveillance design, outbreak preparedness and response, climate change scenario modelling

  2. Of poisons and parasites-the defensive role of tetrodotoxin against infections in newts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Pieter T J; Calhoun, Dana M; Stokes, Amber N; Susbilla, Calvin B; McDevitt-Galles, Travis; Briggs, Cheryl J; Hoverman, Jason T; Tkach, Vasyl V; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2018-02-24

    Classical research on animal toxicity has focused on the role of toxins in protection against predators, but recent studies suggest these same compounds can offer a powerful defense against parasites and infectious diseases. Newts in the genus Taricha are brightly coloured and contain the potent neurotoxin, tetrodotoxin (TTX), which is hypothesized to have evolved as a defense against vertebrate predators such as garter snakes. However, newt populations often vary dramatically in toxicity, which is only partially explained by predation pressure. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the relationships between TTX concentration and infection by parasites. By systematically assessing micro- and macroparasite infections among 345 adult newts (sympatric populations of Taricha granulosa and T. torosa), we detected 18 unique taxa of helminths, fungi, viruses and protozoans. For both newt species, per-host concentrations of TTX, which varied from undetectable to >60 μg/cm 2 skin, negatively predicted overall parasite richness as well as the likelihood of infection by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, and ranavirus. No such effect was found on infection load among infected hosts. Despite commonly occurring at the same wetlands, T. torosa supported higher parasite richness and average infection load than T. granulosa. Host body size and sex (females > males) tended to positively predict infection levels in both species. For hosts in which we quantified leucocyte profiles, total white blood cell count correlated positively with both parasite richness and total infection load. By coupling data on host toxicity and infection by a broad range of micro- and macroparasites, these results suggest that-alongside its effects on predators-tetrodotoxin may help protect newts against parasitic infections, highlighting the importance of integrative research on animal chemistry, immunological defenses and natural enemy ecology. © 2018 The Authors. Journal

  3. Amphibians acquire resistance to live and dead fungus overcoming fungal immunosuppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Taegan A; Sears, Brittany F; Venesky, Matthew D; Bessler, Scott M; Brown, Jenise M; Deutsch, Kaitlin; Halstead, Neal T; Lentz, Garrett; Tenouri, Nadia; Young, Suzanne; Civitello, David J; Ortega, Nicole; Fites, J Scott; Reinert, Laura K; Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Raffel, Thomas R; Rohr, Jason R

    2014-07-10

    Emerging fungal pathogens pose a greater threat to biodiversity than any other parasitic group, causing declines of many taxa, including bats, corals, bees, snakes and amphibians. Currently, there is little evidence that wild animals can acquire resistance to these pathogens. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a pathogenic fungus implicated in the recent global decline of amphibians. Here we demonstrate that three species of amphibians can acquire behavioural or immunological resistance to B. dendrobatidis. Frogs learned to avoid the fungus after just one B. dendrobatidis exposure and temperature-induced clearance. In subsequent experiments in which B. dendrobatidis avoidance was prevented, the number of previous exposures was a negative predictor of B. dendrobatidis burden on frogs and B. dendrobatidis-induced mortality, and was a positive predictor of lymphocyte abundance and proliferation. These results suggest that amphibians can acquire immunity to B. dendrobatidis that overcomes pathogen-induced immunosuppression and increases their survival. Importantly, exposure to dead fungus induced a similar magnitude of acquired resistance as exposure to live fungus. Exposure of frogs to B. dendrobatidis antigens might offer a practical way to protect pathogen-naive amphibians and facilitate the reintroduction of amphibians to locations in the wild where B. dendrobatidis persists. Moreover, given the conserved nature of vertebrate immune responses to fungi and the fact that many animals are capable of learning to avoid natural enemies, these results offer hope that other wild animal taxa threatened by invasive fungi might be rescued by management approaches based on herd immunity.

  4. Mapping amphibian disease patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreen Parks

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two decades the worldwide emergence of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes chytridiomycosis, has drastically impacted populations of frogs, toads, and salamanders. Currently, as much as 40% of the roughly 6300 known amphibian species are deemed imperiled, and chytridiomycosis is...

  5. Correlates of virulence in a frog-killing fungal pathogen: evidence from a California amphibian decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonah Piovia-Scott; Karen Pope; S. Joy Worth; Erica Bree Rosenblum; Dean Simon; Gordon Warburton; Louise A. Rollins-Smith; Laura K. Reinert; Heather L. Wells; Dan Rejmanek; Sharon Lawler; Janet Foley

    2015-01-01

    The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused declines and extinctions in amphibians worldwide, and there is increasing evidence that some strains of this pathogen are more virulent than others. While a number of putative virulence factors have been identified, few studies link these factors to specific epizootic events. We...

  6. Citizen scientists monitor a deadly fungus threatening amphibian communities in northern coastal California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karen L. Pope; Greta M. Wengert; Janet E. Foley; Donald T. Ashton; Richard G. Botzler

    2016-01-01

    Ecoclub youth and supervising family members conducted citizen science to assess regional prevalence and distribution of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) among amphibians at Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) and Redwood National and State Parks (Parks), Humboldt County, California, US, May 2013 through December...

  7. Newly discovered population of Bumpy Glassfrog, Centrolene heloderma (Duellman, 1981), with discussion of threats to population persistence

    OpenAIRE

    Krynak,Katherine; Wessels,Dana G.; Imba,Segundo M.; Lyons,Jane A.; Guayasamin,Juan

    2018-01-01

    Since 2011, the Bumpy Glassfrog, Centrolene heloderma (Duellman, 1981) was known only from a single location in the Mindo region of Ecuador. We report a newly discovered population located in the area of La Sierra, along Río Alambi, a stream system used heavily for aquaculture of rainbow trout (Oncorhyncus mykiss). Threats to population persistence include anthropogenic habitat disturbances such as agriculture and aquaculture, and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection. To improve conservat...

  8. Estimating Herd Immunity to Amphibian Chytridiomycosis in Madagascar Based on the Defensive Function of Amphibian Skin Bacteria

    OpenAIRE

    Bletz, Molly C.; Myers, Jillian; Woodhams, Douglas C.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Rakotonirina, Angela; Weldon, Che; Edmonds, Devin; Vences, Miguel; Harris, Reid N.

    2017-01-01

    For decades, Amphibians have been globally threatened by the still expanding infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. Madagascar is an amphibian biodiversity hotspot where Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has only recently been detected. While no Bd-associated population declines have been reported, the risk of declines is high when invasive virulent lineages become involved. Cutaneous bacteria contribute to host innate immunity by providing defense against pathogens for numerous animals, inc...

  9. Do host-associated gut microbiota mediate the effect of an herbicide on disease risk in frogs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutie, Sarah A; Gabor, Caitlin R; Kohl, Kevin D; Rohr, Jason R

    2018-03-01

    Environmental stressors, such as pollutants, can increase disease risk in wildlife. For example, the herbicide atrazine affects host defences (e.g. resistance and tolerance) of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), but the mechanisms for these associations are not entirely clear. Given that pollutants can alter the gut microbiota of hosts, which in turn can affect their health and immune systems, one potential mechanism by which pollutants could increase infection risk is by influencing host-associated microbiota. Here, we test whether early-life exposure to the estimated environmental concentration (EEC; 200 μg/L) of atrazine affects the gut bacterial composition of Cuban tree frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) tadpoles and adults and whether any atrazine-induced change in community composition might affect host defences against Bd. We also determine whether early-life changes in the stress hormone corticosterone affect gut microbiota by experimentally inhibiting corticosterone synthesis with metyrapone. With the exception of changing the relative abundances of two bacterial genera in adulthood, atrazine did not affect gut bacterial diversity or community composition of tadpoles (in vivo or in vitro) or adults. Metyrapone did not significantly affect bacterial diversity of tadpoles, but significantly increased bacterial diversity of adults. Gut bacterial diversity during Bd exposure did not predict host tolerance or resistance to Bd intensity in tadpoles or adults. However, early-life bacterial diversity negatively predicted Bd intensity as adult frogs. Specifically, Bd intensity as adults was associated negatively with the relative abundance of phylum Fusobacteria in the guts of tadpoles. Our results suggest that the effect of atrazine on Bd infection risk is not mediated by host-associated microbiota because atrazine does not affect microbiota of tadpoles or adults. However, host-associated microbes seem important in host resistance

  10. Experimental Repatriation of Mountain Yellow-legged Frogs (Rana muscosa) in the Sierra Nevada of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellers, Gary M.; Bradford, David F.; Pratt, David; Wood, Leslie

    2008-01-01

    insufficient to maintain a population. It appears that the causal factors for the demise of R. muscosa in the Tableland during the 1970s were still operating in the 1990s or that a new limiting factor has developed. Dispersal, weather, water quality, and predation do not appear to be causative agents; since fish have never been present in the portions of the watershed where we were working, they were not a factor. Observations and data are consistent with the hypotheses that chytridiomycosis, caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, and/or exposure to airborne pesticides caused both declines. However, at the time of our study, chytridiomycosis had not been described and the potentially significant role of contaminants was largely undocumented.

  11. Chytridiomycosis in endemic amphibians of the mountain tops of the Córdoba and San Luis ranges, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lescano, Julián N; Longo, Silvana; Robledo, Gerardo

    2013-02-28

    Chytridiomycosis is a major threat to amphibian conservation. In Argentina, the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been recorded in several localities, and recently, it was registered in amphibians inhabiting low-elevation areas of mountain environments in Córdoba and San Luis provinces. In the present study, we searched for B. dendrobatidis in endemic and non-endemic amphibians on the mountain tops of Córdoba and San Luis provinces. We collected dead amphibians in the upper vegetation belt of the mountains of Córdoba and San Luis. Using standard histological techniques, the presence of fungal infection was confirmed in 5 species. Three of these species are endemic to the mountain tops of both provinces. Although there are no reported population declines in amphibians in these mountains, the presence of B. dendrobatidis in endemic species highlights the need for long-term monitoring plans in the area.

  12. Amphibian chytridiomycosis: a review with focus on fungus-host interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Rooij, Pascale; Martel, An; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2015-11-25

    Amphibian declines and extinctions are emblematic for the current sixth mass extinction event. Infectious drivers of these declines include the recently emerged fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Chytridiomycota). The skin disease caused by these fungi is named chytridiomycosis and affects the vital function of amphibian skin. Not all amphibians respond equally to infection and host responses might range from resistant, over tolerant to susceptible. The clinical outcome of infection is highly dependent on the amphibian host, the fungal virulence and environmental determinants. B. dendrobatidis infects the skin of a large range of anurans, urodeles and caecilians, whereas to date the host range of B. salamandrivorans seems limited to urodeles. So far, the epidemic of B. dendrobatidis is mainly limited to Australian, neotropical, South European and West American amphibians, while for B. salamandrivorans it is limited to European salamanders. Other striking differences between both fungi include gross pathology and thermal preferences. With this review we aim to provide the reader with a state-of-the art of host-pathogen interactions for both fungi, in which new data pertaining to the interaction of B. dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans with the host's skin are integrated. Furthermore, we pinpoint areas in which more detailed studies are necessary or which have not received the attention they merit.

  13. Pathogen pollution and the emergence of a deadly amphibian pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenzie, Valerie J; Peterson, Anna C

    2012-11-01

    Imagine a single pathogen that is responsible for mass mortality of over a third of an entire vertebrate class. For example, if a single pathogen were causing the death, decline and extinction of 30% of mammal species (including humans), the entire world would be paying attention. This is what has been happening to the world's amphibians - the frogs, toads and salamanders that are affected by the chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (referred to as Bd), which are consequently declining at an alarming rate. It has aptly been described as the worst pathogen in history in terms of its effects on biodiversity (Kilpatrick et al. 2010). The pathogen was only formally described about 13 years ago (Longcore et al. 1999), and scientists are still in the process of determining where it came from and investigating the question: why now? Healthy debate has ensued as to whether Bd is a globally endemic organism that only recently started causing high mortality due to shifting host responses and/or environmental change (e.g. Pounds et al. 2006) or whether a virulent strain of the pathogen has rapidly disseminated around the world in recent decades, affecting new regions with a vengeance (e.g. Morehouse et al. 2003; Weldon et al. 2004; Lips et al. 2008). We are finally beginning to shed more light on this question, due to significant discoveries that have emerged as a result of intensive DNA-sequencing methods comparing Bd isolates from different amphibian species across the globe. Evidence is mounting that there is indeed a global panzootic lineage of Bd (BdGPL) in addition to what appear to be more localized endemic strains (Fisher et al. 2009; James et al. 2009; Farrer et al. 2011). Additionally, BdGPL appears to be a hypervirulent strain that has resulted from the hybridization of different Bd strains that came into contact in recent decades, and is now potentially replacing the less-virulent endemic strains of the pathogen (Farrer et al. 2011

  14. Early action to address an emerging wildlife disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.; Harris, M. Camille; Grear, Daniel A.

    2017-02-23

    A deadly fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) that affects amphibian skin was discovered during a die-off of European fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) in 2014. This pathogen has the potential to worsen already severe worldwide amphibian declines. Bsal is a close relative to another fungal disease known as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Many scientists consider Bd to be the greatest threat to amphibian biodiversity of any disease because it affects a large number of species and has the unusual ability to drive species and populations to extinction.Although not yet detected in the United States, the emergence of Bsal could threaten the salamander population, which is the most diverse in the world. The spread of Bsal likely will lead to more State and federally listed threatened or endangered amphibian species, and associated economic effects.Because of the concern expressed by resource management agencies, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has made Bsal and similar pathogens a priority for research.

  15. Use of immunohistochemistry to diagnose chytridiomycosis in dyeing poison dart frogs (Dendrobates tinctorius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Ells, Tracy; Stanton, James; Strieby, Ann; Daszak, Peter; Hyatt, Alex D; Brown, Corrie

    2003-07-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is an emerging disease of both wild and captive amphibians, posing a threat to their survival in many parts of the world. As the disease can be difficult to diagnose on routine pathologic sections, the purpose of this study was to develop an additional method for visualization. To accomplish this, immunohistochemical staining was applied to histologic skin sections from four experimentally infected Dyeing poison dart frogs (Dendrobates tinctorius). Staining of the positive tissue sections was distinct and readily visualized, making this technique a valuable ancillary diagnostic test for this important disease.

  16. Selected emerging diseases of amphibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latney, La'Toya V; Klaphake, Eric

    2013-05-01

    This review summarizes the most recent updates on emerging infectious diseases of amphibia. A brief summary of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis history, epidemiology, pathogenesis, life cycle, diagnosis, treatment, and biosecurity is provided. Ambystoma tigrinum virus, common midwife toad virus, frog virus 3, Rana grylio virus, Rana catesbeiana ranavirus, Mahaffey Road virus, Rana esculenta virus, Bohle iridovirus, and tiger frog virus ranaviruses are extensively reviewed. Emerging bacterial pathogens are discussed, including Flavobacter sp, Aeromonas sp, Citrobacter freundii, Chlamydophila sp, Mycobacterium liflandii, Elizabethkingia meningoseptica, and Ochrobactrum anthropi. Rhabdias sp, Ribeiroia sp, and Spirometra erinacei are among several of the parasitic infections overviewed in this article. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Presence of the amphibian chytrid pathogen confirmed in Cameroon

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Baláž, V.; Kopecký, O.; Gvoždík, Václav

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 22, č. 3 (2012), s. 191-194 ISSN 0268-0130 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional support: RVO:67985904 Keywords : Afromontane * chytridiomycosis * Congolian lowland rainforests Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.081, year: 2012

  18. Global Amphibian Extinction Risk Assessment for the Panzootic Chytrid Fungus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew C. Fisher

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Species are being lost at increasing rates due to anthropogenic effects, leading to the recognition that we are witnessing the onset of a sixth mass extinction. Emerging infectious disease has been shown to increase species loss and any attempts to reduce extinction rates need to squarely confront this challenge. Here, we develop a procedure for identifying amphibian species that are most at risk from the effects of chytridiomycosis by combining spatial analyses of key host life-history variables with the pathogen's predicted distribution. We apply our rule set to the known global diversity of amphibians in order to prioritize pecies that are most at risk of loss from disease emergence. This risk assessment shows where limited conservation funds are best deployed in order to prevent further loss of species by enabling ex situ amphibian salvage operations and focusing any potential disease mitigation projects.

  19. Global Amphibian Extinction Risk Assessment for the Panzootic Chytrid Fungus

    OpenAIRE

    Rödder, Dennis; Kielgast, Jos; Bielby, Jon; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Bosch, Jaime; Garner, Trenton W. J.; Veith, Michael; Walker, Susan; Fisher, Matthew C.; Lötters, Stefan

    2009-01-01

    Species are being lost at increasing rates due to anthropogenic effects, leading to the recognition that we are witnessing the onset of a sixth mass extinction. Emerging infectious disease has been shown to increase species loss and any attempts to reduce extinction rates need to squarely confront this challenge. Here, we develop a procedure for identifying amphibian species that are most at risk from the effects of chytridiomycosis by combining spatial analyses of key host life-history varia...

  20. Chytridiomycosis in wild frogs from southern Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lips, Karen R.; Green, D.E.; Papendick, R.

    2003-01-01

    In 1993, the amphibian fauna of Las Tablas, Costa Rica, began to decline, and by 1998 approximately 50% of the species formerly present could no longer be found. Three years later, at the Reserva Forestal Fortuna, in western Panama, a site approximately 75 km east southeast of Las Tablas, KRL encountered a mass die-off of amphibians and a subsequent decline in abundance and species richness. The epidemiological features of the anuran population declines and die-offs at both sites were similar, suggesting a similar cause. Herein we document the presence of the fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in dead and dying wild frogs collected at Las Tablas just prior to population declines of several anuran species.

  1. Pathophysiology in mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa during a chytridiomycosis outbreak.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie Voyles

    Full Text Available The disease chytridiomycosis is responsible for declines and extirpations of amphibians worldwide. Chytridiomycosis is caused by a fungal pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis that infects amphibian skin. Although we have a basic understanding of the pathophysiology from laboratory experiments, many mechanistic details remain unresolved and it is unknown if disease development is similar in wild amphibian populations. To gain a better understanding of chytridiomycosis pathophysiology in wild amphibian populations, we collected blood biochemistry measurements during an outbreak in mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. We found that pathogen load is associated with disruptions in fluid and electrolyte balance, yet is not associated with fluctuations acid-base balance. These findings enhance our knowledge of the pathophysiology of this disease and indicate that disease development is consistent across multiple species and in both laboratory and natural conditions. We recommend integrating an understanding of chytridiomycosis pathophysiology with mitigation practices to improve amphibian conservation.

  2. First parasitological study of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis, Amphibia in Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristóbal Castillo

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduced species can arrive into new territories with parasites; however, these species are expected to face lower parasite richness than in their original regions. Both introduced hosts and parasites can affect native fauna. Since their release into the wild in Chile following laboratory use, Xenopus laevis Daudin, 1802 has widely spread throughout central Chile. The only pathogen described on the host is the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Longcore, Pessier, Nichols, 1999; thus, this is the first parasitological study of this species in Chile. In 10 localities in central Chile, 179 specimens of X. laevis were captured and examined for parasites in the gastrointestinal tube, cavities, lungs, liver, and skin. Only nine specimens of the genus Contracaecum Railliet, Henry, 1912 were found in six specimens of X. laevis from a private dam in La Patagua. It is likely that these parasites originated from species of native birds. This is the first record of Contracaecum sp. in Chilean amphibians.

  3. Identifying species conservation strategies to reduce disease-associated declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerber, Brian D.; Converse, Sarah J.; Muths, Erin L.; Crockett, Harry J.; Mosher, Brittany A.; Bailey, Larissa L.

    2018-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are a salient threat to many animal taxa, causing local and global extinctions, altering communities and ecosystem function. The EID chytridiomycosis is a prominent driver of amphibian declines, which is caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). To guide conservation policy, we developed a predictive decision-analytic model that combines empirical knowledge of host-pathogen metapopulation dynamics with expert judgment regarding effects of management actions, to select from potential conservation strategies. We apply our approach to a boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) and Bd system, identifying optimal strategies that balance tradeoffs in maximizing toad population persistence and landscape-level distribution, while considering costs. The most robust strategy is expected to reduce the decline of toad breeding sites from 53% to 21% over 50 years. Our findings are incorporated into management policy to guide conservation planning. Our online modeling application provides a template for managers of other systems challenged by EIDs.

  4. Identifying species conservation strategies to reduce disease-associated declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerber, Brian D.; Converse, Sarah J.; Muths, Erin L.; Crockett, Harry J.; Mosher, Brittany A.; Bailey, Larissa L.

    2017-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are a salient threat to many animal taxa, causing local and global extinctions, altering communities and ecosystem function. The EID chytridiomycosis is a prominent driver of amphibian declines, which is caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). To guide conservation policy, we developed a predictive decision-analytic model that combines empirical knowledge of host-pathogen metapopulation dynamics with expert judgment regarding effects of management actions, to select from potential conservation strategies. We apply our approach to a boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) and Bd system, identifying optimal strategies that balance tradeoffs in maximizing toad population persistence and landscape-level distribution, while considering costs. The most robust strategy is expected to reduce the decline of toad breeding sites from 53% to 21% over 50 years. Our findings are incorporated into management policy to guide conservation planning. Our online modeling application provides a template for managers of other systems challenged by EIDs.

  5. Microhabitat use and spatial distribution in Picado’s Bromeliad Treefrog, Isthmohyla picadoi (Anura, Hylidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam M. M. Stuckert

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Isthmohyla picadoi is a Neotropical hylid frog found in upper humid montane forests of Costa Rica and Panama. The species is of particular interest because it continues to persist in an area in which the amphibian community has otherwise been decimated by the pathogenic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Ground search, ladder climbing, and tree climbing techniques were used to locate 32 individuals; including adult males and females, juveniles, andmetamorphosing frogs. The majority of frogs were found in bromeliads, although some individuals were found on plants of the Euphorbiaceae, Musaceae, and Heliconiaceae families. Most frogs were found in larger bromeliads (45 cm or wider. There was a positive correlation between SUL and bromeliad width within the population but not within maturity classes (adult males, adult females, all adults, nonmetamorphosingjuveniles, suggesting that juvenile and adult frogs differ in bromeliad usage. Ranges of SUL and body weight in this particular population are much greater than those reported in previous species accounts.

  6. Fatal chytridiomycosis and infection loss observed in captive toads infected in the wild

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vojtech Baláž

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A parasitic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is now recognised as an important factor in the amphibian biodiversity crisis. Toad species of the genus Bufo are among those susceptible to infection by the pathogen in Europe. The aim of this study was to observe the presence and impact of infection in adults of two toad species collected for captive breeding. The total number of animals included in the study was 162, but only subsets were used for sampling at different occasions (35 specimens in the initial sampling in summer 2011, 48 post hibernation during winter 2011, and 31 in summer 2012, after all toads in captivity were treated with itraconazole. We performed TaqMan real-time quantification PCR to detect and quantify the pathogen. We found that a large infection load was linked to mortality in a single adult green toad (Bufo viridis. However, low infection loads observed in five B. viridis and five natterjack toads (B. calamita were lost over time, with no apparent adverse effect. Intraconazole treated animals were all clear of infection. As infection in these two toad species either led to mortality or recovery, it seems unlikely they could act as permanent carriers of B. dendrobatidis and therefore persistence of the pathogen is likely maintained by different host species. This is the first study to date that has detected infection and observed its impact and persistence in wild-infected toads in Europe.

  7. THE PHARMACOKINETICS OF TOPICAL ITRACONAZOLE IN PANAMANIAN GOLDEN FROGS (ATELOPUS ZETEKI).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rifkin, Amy; Visser, Marike; Barrett, Kevin; Boothe, Dawn; Bronson, Ellen

    2017-06-01

    Chytridiomycosis is caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and is one of the primary causes of the global decline in amphibian populations and specifically of the Panamanian golden frog ( Atelopus zeteki ). Itraconazole has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for chytridiomycosis by inhibiting cytochrome P450, a major enzyme important for the structure of B. dendrobatidis zoospores' plasma membranes. However, anecdotal reports of toxicity in this and other amphibian species have been reported at the 0.01% concentration. This study is the first to determine pharmacokinetics of 0.01% and 0.001% itraconazole in the Panamanian golden frog. Frogs were bathed 10 min, euthanized, and skin, liver, and heart were collected at 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 24, and 36 hr. Itraconazole concentrations were measured using high performance liquid chromatography, and the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of itraconazole (0.032 μg/ml) for B. dendrobatidis was used to determine whether therapeutic concentrations were attained. Itraconazole was detected in all tissues at both concentrations, indicating systemic absorption. At the 0.01% itraconazole bath, itraconazole concentrations in all tissues exceeded the MIC at all time points, and the lack of decline until the end of the study at 36 hr precluded determining a disappearance half-life. With the 0.001% bath, itraconazole exceeded the MIC and declined with a disappearance half-life that markedly varied (14.1-1,244 min). This study augments the growing literature base on chytridiomycosis and seeks to aid in further experimental attempts to find the most-optimal treatment protocol for this disease.

  8. Effects of amphibian chytrid fungus on individual survival probability in wild boreal toads

    Science.gov (United States)

    David S. Pilliod; Erin Muths; Rick D. Scherer; Paul E. Bartelt; Paul Stephen Corn; Blake R. Hossack; Brad A. Lambert; Rebecca McCaffery; Christopher Gaughan

    2010-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis is linked to the worldwide decline of amphibians, yet little is known about the demographic effects of the disease. We collected capture-recapture data on three populations of boreal toads (Bufo boreas [Bufo = Anaxyrus]) in the Rocky Mountains (U.S.A.). Two of the populations were infected with chytridiomycosis and one was not. We examined the effect...

  9. Transcriptome analyses of immune tissues from three Japanese frogs (genus Rana ) reveals their utility in characterizing major histocompatibility complex class II.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Quintin; Igawa, Takeshi; Minei, Ryuhei; Kosch, Tiffany A; Satta, Yoko

    2017-12-28

    In Japan and East Asia, endemic frogs appear to be tolerant or not susceptible to chytridiomycosis, a deadly amphibian disease caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytridium dendrobatidis (Bd). Japanese frogs may have evolved mechanisms of immune resistance to pathogens such as Bd. This study characterizes immune genes expressed in various tissues of healthy Japanese Rana frogs. We generated transcriptome data sets of skin, spleen and blood from three adult Japanese Ranidae frogs (Japanese brown frog Rana japonica, the montane brown frog Rana ornativentris, and Tago's brown frog Rana tagoi tagoi) as well as whole body of R. japonica and R. ornativentris tadpoles. From this, we identified tissue- and stage-specific differentially expressed genes; in particular, the spleen was most enriched for immune-related genes. A specific immune gene, major histocompatibility complex class IIB (MHC-IIB), was further characterized due to its role in pathogen recognition. We identified a total of 33 MHC-IIB variants from the three focal species (n = 7 individuals each), which displayed evolutionary signatures related to increased MHC variation, including balancing selection. Our supertyping analyses of MHC-IIB variants from Japanese frogs and previously studied frog species identified potential physiochemical properties of MHC-II that may be important for recognizing and binding chytrid-related antigens. This is one of the first studies to generate transcriptomic resources for Japanese frogs, and contributes to further understanding the immunogenetic factors associated with resistance to infectious diseases in amphibians such as chytridiomycosis. Notably, MHC-IIB supertyping analyses identified unique functional properties of specific MHC-IIB alleles that may partially contribute to Bd resistance, and such properties provide a springboard for future experimental validation.

  10. A model to inform management actions as a response to chytridiomycosis-associated decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Converse, Sarah J.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Mosher, Brittany A.; Funk, W. Chris; Gerber, Brian D.; Muths, Erin L.

    2017-01-01

    Decision-analytic models provide forecasts of how systems of interest will respond to management. These models can be parameterized using empirical data, but sometimes require information elicited from experts. When evaluating the effects of disease in species translocation programs, expert judgment is likely to play a role because complete empirical information will rarely be available. We illustrate development of a decision-analytic model built to inform decision-making regarding translocations and other management actions for the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas), a species with declines linked to chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Using the model, we explored the management implications of major uncertainties in this system, including whether there is a genetic basis for resistance to pathogenic infection by Bd, how translocation can best be implemented, and the effectiveness of efforts to reduce the spread of Bd. Our modeling exercise suggested that while selection for resistance to pathogenic infectionDecision-analytic models provide forecasts of how systems of interest will respond to management. These models can be parameterized using empirical data, but sometimes require information elicited from experts. When evaluating the effects of disease in species translocation programs, expert judgment is likely to play a role because complete empirical information will rarely be available. We illustrate development of a decision-analytic model built to inform decision-making regarding translocations and other management actions for the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas), a species with declines linked to chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Using the model, we explored the management implications of major uncertainties in this system, including whether there is a genetic basis for resistance to pathogenic infection by Bd, how translocation can best be implemented, and the effectiveness of efforts to

  11. Parasite Fitness Traits Under Environmental Variation: Disentangling the Roles of a Chytrid's Immediate Host and External Environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Wyngaert, Silke; Vanholsbeeck, Olivier; Spaak, Piet; Ibelings, Bas W.

    2014-01-01

    Parasite environments are heterogeneous at different levels. The first level of variability is the host itself. The second level represents the external environment for the hosts, to which parasites may be exposed during part of their life cycle. Both levels are expected to affect parasite fitness

  12. Population estimates of Dendrobates tinctorius (Anura: Dendrobatidae) at three sites in French Guiana and first record of chytrid infection

    OpenAIRE

    Elodie A. Courtois; Kevin Pineau; Benoit Villette; Dirk S. Schmeller; Philippe Gaucher

    2012-01-01

    The Neotropics shelter the highest number of frog species on Earth and is also one of the regions where anurans are most threatened. Nonetheless, few data are available to assess the population status of Neotropical anurans. We studied three populations (Tresor, Favard, and Nouragues) of the poison frog, Dendrobates tinctorius, in French Guiana and used Capture-Mark-Recapture (CMR) to make robust estimations of the species’ density at these three sites. In addition, we assessed the prevalence...

  13. Multiple origins of hydrogenosomes : functional and phylogenetic evidence from the ADP/ATP carrier of the anaerobic chytrid Neocallimastix sp.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voncken, F; Boxma, B; Tjaden, J; Akhmanova, A; Huynen, M; Tielens, AGM; Haferkamp, [No Value; Neuhaus, HE; Vogels, G; Veenhuis, M; Hackstein, JHP; Tielens, Aloysius G.M.; Haferkamp, Ilka; Hackstein, Johannes H.P.

    A mitochondrial-type ADP/ATP carrier (AAC) has been identified in the hydrogenosomes of the anaerobic chytridiomycete fungus Neocallimastix sp. L2. Biochemical and immunocytochemical studies revealed that this ADP/ATP carrier is an integral component of hydrogenosomal membranes. Expression of the

  14. Survey of helminths, ectoparasites, and chytrid fungus of an introduced population of cane toads, Rhinella marina (Anura: Bufonidae), from Grenada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Michael C.; Zieger, Ulrike; Groszkowski, Andrew; Gallardo, Bruce; Sages, Patti; Reavis, Roslyn; Faircloth, Leslie; Jacobson, Krystin; Lonce, Nicholas; Pinckney, Rhonda D.; Cole, Rebecca A.

    2014-01-01

    One hundred specimens of Rhinella marina, (Anura: Bufonidae) collected in St. George's parish, Grenada, from September 2010 to August 2011, were examined for the presence of ectoparasites and helminths. Ninety-five (95%) were parasitized by 1 or more parasite species. Nine species of parasites were found: 1 digenean, 2 acanthocephalans, 4 nematodes, 1 arthropod and 1 pentastome. The endoparasites represented 98.9% of the total number of parasite specimens collected. Grenada represents a new locality record for Mesocoelium monas, Raillietiella frenatus, Pseudoacanthacephalus sp., Aplectana sp., Physocephalus sp., Acanthacephala cystacanth, and Physalopteridae larvae. The digenean M. monas occurred with the highest prevalence of 82%, contrasting many studies of R. marina where nematodes dominate the parasite infracommunity. Female toads were found to have a significantly higher prevalence of Amblyomma dissimile than male toads. Only 2 parasites exhibited a significant difference between wet and dry season with Parapharyngodon grenadensis prevalence highest in the wet season and A. dissimile prevalence highest during the dry season. Additionally, A. dissimilewas significantly more abundant during the dry season.

  15. Thermal physiology, disease, and amphibian declines on the eastern slopes of the Andes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catenazzi, Alessandro; Lehr, Edgar; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2014-04-01

    Rising temperatures, a widespread consequence of climate change, have been implicated in enigmatic amphibian declines from habitats with little apparent human impact. The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), now widespread in Neotropical mountains, may act in synergy with climate change causing collapse in thermally stressed hosts. We measured the thermal tolerance of frogs along a wide elevational gradient in the Tropical Andes, where frog populations have collapsed. We used the difference between critical thermal maximum and the temperature a frog experiences in nature as a measure of tolerance to high temperatures. Temperature tolerance increased as elevation increased, suggesting that frogs at higher elevations may be less sensitive to rising temperatures. We tested the alternative pathogen optimal growth hypothesis that prevalence of the pathogen should decrease as temperatures fall outside the optimal range of pathogen growth. Our infection-prevalence data supported the pathogen optimal growth hypothesis because we found that prevalence of Bd increased when host temperatures matched its optimal growth range. These findings suggest that rising temperatures may not be the driver of amphibian declines in the eastern slopes of the Andes. Zoonotic outbreaks of Bd are the most parsimonious hypothesis to explain the collapse of montane amphibian faunas; but our results also reveal that lowland tropical amphibians, despite being shielded from Bd by higher temperatures, are vulnerable to climate-warming stress. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  16. Are the adverse effects of stressors on amphibians mediated by their effects on stress hormones?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabor, Caitlin R; Knutie, Sarah A; Roznik, Elizabeth A; Rohr, Jason R

    2018-02-01

    Adverse effects of anthropogenic changes on biodiversity might be mediated by their impacts on the stress response of organisms. To test this hypothesis, we crossed exposure to metyrapone, a synthesis inhibitor of the stress hormone corticosterone, with exposure to the herbicide atrazine and the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) to assess whether the effects of these stressors on tadpoles and post-metamorphic frogs were mediated by corticosterone. Metyrapone countered atrazine- and Bd-induced corticosterone elevations. However, atrazine- and Bd-induced reductions in body size were not mediated by corticosterone because they persisted despite metyrapone exposure. Atrazine lowered Bd abundance without metyrapone but increased Bd abundance with metyrapone for tadpoles and frogs. In contrast, atrazine reduced tolerance of Bd infections because frogs exposed to atrazine as tadpoles had reduced growth with Bd compared to solvent controls; this effect was not countered by metyrapone. Our results suggest that the adverse effects of atrazine and Bd on amphibian growth, development, and tolerance of infection are not mediated primarily by corticosterone. A possible mechanism for these effects is energy lost from atrazine detoxification, defense against Bd, or repair from damage caused by atrazine and Bd. Additional studies are needed to evaluate how often the effects of anthropogenic stressors are mediated by stress hormones.

  17. Marginal Bayesian nonparametric model for time to disease arrival of threatened amphibian populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Haiming; Hanson, Timothy; Knapp, Roland

    2015-12-01

    The global emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused the extinction of hundreds of amphibian species worldwide. It has become increasingly important to be able to precisely predict time to Bd arrival in a population. The data analyzed herein present a unique challenge in terms of modeling because there is a strong spatial component to Bd arrival time and the traditional proportional hazards assumption is grossly violated. To address these concerns, we develop a novel marginal Bayesian nonparametric survival model for spatially correlated right-censored data. This class of models assumes that the logarithm of survival times marginally follow a mixture of normal densities with a linear-dependent Dirichlet process prior as the random mixing measure, and their joint distribution is induced by a Gaussian copula model with a spatial correlation structure. To invert high-dimensional spatial correlation matrices, we adopt a full-scale approximation that can capture both large- and small-scale spatial dependence. An efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm with delayed rejection is proposed for posterior computation, and an R package spBayesSurv is provided to fit the model. This approach is first evaluated through simulations, then applied to threatened frog populations in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. © 2015, The International Biometric Society.

  18. Epizootic to enzootic transition of a fungal disease in tropical Andean frogs: Are surviving species still susceptible?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Catenazzi

    Full Text Available The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, which causes the disease chytridiomycosis, has been linked to catastrophic amphibian declines throughout the world. Amphibians differ in their vulnerability to chytridiomycosis; some species experience epizootics followed by collapse while others exhibit stable host/pathogen dynamics where most amphibian hosts survive in the presence of Bd (e.g., in the enzootic state. Little is known about the factors that drive the transition between the two disease states within a community, or whether populations of species that survived the initial epizootic are stable, yet this information is essential for conservation and theory. Our study focuses on a diverse Peruvian amphibian community that experienced a Bd-caused collapse. We explore host/Bd dynamics of eight surviving species a decade after the mass extinction by using population level disease metrics and Bd-susceptibility trials. We found that three of the eight species continue to be susceptible to Bd, and that their populations are declining. Only one species is growing in numbers and it was non-susceptible in our trials. Our study suggests that some species remain vulnerable to Bd and exhibit ongoing population declines in enzootic systems where Bd-host dynamics are assumed to be stable.

  19. Using omics and integrated multi-omics approaches to guide probiotic selection to mitigate chytridiomycosis and other emerging infectious diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eria Alaide Rebollar

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Emerging infectious diseases in wildlife are responsible for massive population declines. In amphibians, chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd, has severely affected many amphibian populations and species around the world. One promising management strategy is probiotic bioaugmentation of antifungal bacteria on amphibian skin. In vivo experimental trials using bioaugmentation strategies have had mixed results, and therefore a more informed strategy is needed to select successful probiotic candidates. Metagenomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic methods, colloquially called omics, are approaches that can better inform probiotic selection and optimize selection protocols. The integration of multiple omic data using bioinformatic and statistical tools and in silico models that link bacterial community structure with bacterial defensive function can allow the identification of species involved in pathogen inhibition. We recommend using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and methods such as indicator species analysis, the K-S Measure, and co-occurrence networks to identify bacteria that are associated with pathogen resistance in field surveys and experimental trials. In addition to 16S amplicon sequencing, we recommend approaches that give insight into symbiont function such as shotgun metagenomics, metatranscriptomics or metabolomics to maximize the probability of finding effective probiotic candidates, which can then be isolated in culture and tested in persistence and clinical trials. An effective mitigation strategy to ameliorate chytridiomycosis and other emerging infectious diseases is necessary; the advancement of omic methods and the integration of multiple omic data provide a promising avenue toward conservation of imperiled species.

  20. Larval exposure to predator cues alters immune function and response to a fungal pathogen in post-metamorphic wood frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groner, Maya L; Buck, Julia C; Gervasi, Stephanie; Blaustein, Andrew R; Reinert, Laura K; Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Bier, Mark E; Hempel, John; Relyea, Rick A

    2013-09-01

    For the past several decades, amphibian populations have been decreasing around the globe at an unprecedented rate. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the fungal pathogen that causes chytridiomycosis in amphibians, is contributing to amphibian declines. Natural and anthropogenic environmental factors are hypothesized to contribute to these declines by reducing the immunocompetence of amphibian hosts, making them more susceptible to infection. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) produced in the granular glands of a frog's skin are thought to be a key defense against Bd infection. These peptides may be a critical immune defense during metamorphosis because many acquired immune functions are suppressed during this time. To test if stressors alter AMP production and survival of frogs exposed to Bd, we exposed wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) tadpoles to the presence or absence of dragonfly predator cues crossed with a single exposure to three nominal concentrations of the insecticide malathion (0, 10, or 100 parts per billion [ppb]). We then exposed a subset of post-metamorphic frogs to the presence or absence of Bd zoospores and measured frog survival. Although predator cues and malathion had no effect on survival or size at metamorphosis, predator cues increased the time to metamorphosis by 1.5 days and caused a trend of a 20% decrease in hydrophobic skin peptides. Despite this decrease in peptides determined shortly after metamorphosis, previous exposure to predator cues increased survival in both Bd-exposed and unexposed frogs several weeks after metamorphosis. These results suggest that exposing tadpoles to predator cues confers fitness benefits later in life.

  1. Host-pathogen metapopulation dynamics suggest high elevation refugia for boreal toads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosher, Brittany A.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Muths, Erin L.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P

    2018-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases are an increasingly common threat to wildlife. Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an emerging infectious disease that has been linked to amphibian declines around the world. Few studies exist that explore amphibian-Bd dynamics at the landscape scale, limiting our ability to identify which factors are associated with variation in population susceptibility and to develop effective in situdisease management. Declines of boreal toads (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) in the Southern Rocky Mountains are largely attributed to chytridiomycosis but variation exists in local extinction of boreal toads across this metapopulation. Using a large-scale historic dataset, we explored several potential factors influencing disease dynamics in the boreal toad-Bd system: geographic isolation of populations, amphibian community richness, elevational differences, and habitat permanence. We found evidence that boreal toad extinction risk was lowest at high elevations where temperatures may be sub-optimal for Bd growth and where small boreal toad populations may be below the threshold needed for efficient pathogen transmission. In addition, boreal toads were more likely to recolonize high elevation sites after local extinction, again suggesting that high elevations may provide refuge from disease for boreal toads. We illustrate a modeling framework that will be useful to natural resource managers striving to make decisions in amphibian-Bdsystems. Our data suggest that in the southern Rocky Mountains high elevation sites should be prioritized for conservation initiatives like reintroductions.

  2. Survival, gene and metabolite responses of Litoria verreauxii alpina frogs to fungal disease chytridiomycosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grogan, Laura F.; Mulvenna, Jason; Gummer, Joel P. A.; Scheele, Ben C.; Berger, Lee; Cashins, Scott D.; McFadden, Michael S.; Harlow, Peter; Hunter, David A.; Trengove, Robert D.; Skerratt, Lee F.

    2018-03-01

    The fungal skin disease chytridiomycosis has caused the devastating decline and extinction of hundreds of amphibian species globally, yet the potential for evolving resistance, and the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms remain poorly understood. We exposed 406 naïve, captive-raised alpine tree frogs (Litoria verreauxii alpina) from multiple populations (one evolutionarily naïve to chytridiomycosis) to the aetiological agent Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in two concurrent and controlled infection experiments. We investigated (A) survival outcomes and clinical pathogen burdens between populations and clutches, and (B) individual host tissue responses to chytridiomycosis. Here we present multiple interrelated datasets associated with these exposure experiments, including animal signalment, survival and pathogen burden of 355 animals from Experiment A, and the following datasets related to 61 animals from Experiment B: animal signalment and pathogen burden; raw RNA-Seq reads from skin, liver and spleen tissues; de novo assembled transcriptomes for each tissue type; raw gene expression data; annotation data for each gene; and raw metabolite expression data from skin and liver tissues. These data provide an extensive baseline for future analyses.

  3. Four new species of terrestrial-breeding frogs of the genus Phrynopus (Anura: Terrarana: Craugastoridae) from Río Abiseo National Park, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Lily O; Catenazzi, Alessandro

    2017-06-06

    We describe four new species of terrestrial-breeding frogs belonging to the genus Phrynopus from specimens collected on the eastern slopes of the Cordillera Oriental (2800-3850 m) near and within Río Abiseo National Park, Provincia Mariscal Cáceres, Departments of San Martín and La Libertad, northeastern Peru. All four species lack a visible tympanum and inhabit the upper ridges and slopes within or adjacent to the Park. Phrynopus anancites sp. nov. and P. capitalis sp. nov. inhabit the wet montane grasslands on the upper ridges and valleys from 3600 to 3850 m. Phrynopus anancites (SVL = 25.3 mm) has coarsely aerolated skin and olive green coloration and has small vomerine teeth, while P. capitalis (female SVL = 35.6 mm) is characterized by a large head, short limbs, and distinctive dorsal pattern. Phrynopus dumicola sp. nov. (female SVL = 25.3 mm) has a short head and dark colored body with granular skin on the flanks, and is known only from forest patches along the treeline from 3225 to 3550 m, whereas P. personatus sp. nov. (female SVL = 28.2 mm) has a dark facemask and bright yellow groin spots (possibly aposematic), and inhabits a narrow band of continuous tropical montane rain forest from 2890 to 3110 m. We report infection with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis from one specimen of P. dumicola collected in July of 1988. With the addition of these four new species, Phrynopus now includes 32 nominal species.

  4. Major histocompatibility complex variation and the evolution of resistance to amphibian chytridiomycosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Minjie; Waldman, Bruce

    2017-08-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been implicated in population declines and species extinctions of amphibians around the world. Susceptibility to the disease varies both within and among species, most likely attributable to heritable immunogenetic variation. Analyses of transcriptional expression in hosts following their infection by Bd reveal complex responses. Species resistant to Bd generally show evidence of stronger innate and adaptive immune system responses. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class II genes of some susceptible species are up-regulated following host infection by Bd, but resistant species show no comparable changes in transcriptional expression. Bd-resistant species share similar pocket conformations within the MHC-II antigen-binding groove. Among susceptible species, survivors of epizootics bear alleles encoding these conformations. Individuals with homozygous resistance alleles appear to benefit by enhanced resistance, especially in environmental conditions that promote pathogen virulence. Subjects that are repeatedly infected and subsequently cleared of Bd can develop an acquired immune response to the pathogen. Strong directional selection for MHC alleles that encode resistance to Bd may deplete genetic variation necessary to respond to other pathogens. Resistance to chytridiomycosis incurs life-history costs that require further study.

  5. Adaptive tolerance to a pathogenic fungus drives major histocompatibility complex evolution in natural amphibian populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Anna E; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2016-03-30

    Amphibians have been affected globally by the disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and we are just now beginning to understand how immunogenetic variability contributes to disease susceptibility. Lineages of an expressed major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II locus involved in acquired immunity are associated with chytridiomycosis susceptibility in controlled laboratory challenge assays. Here, we extend these findings to natural populations that vary both in exposure and response to Bd We find that MHC alleles and supertypes associated with Bd survival in the field show a molecular signal of positive selection, while those associated with susceptibility do not, supporting the hypothesis that heritable Bd tolerance is rapidly evolving. We compare MHC supertypes to neutral loci to demonstrate where selection versus demography is shaping MHC variability. One population with Bd tolerance in nature shows a significant signal of directional selection for the same allele (allele Q) that was significantly associated with survival in an earlier laboratory study. Our findings indicate that selective pressure for Bd survival drives rapid immunogenetic adaptation in some natural populations, despite differences in environment and demography. Our field-based analysis of immunogenetic variation confirms that natural amphibian populations have the evolutionary potential to adapt to chytridiomycosis. © 2016 The Authors.

  6. A pesticide paradox: fungicides indirectly increase fungal infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Brown, Jenise; Battaglin, William A; McMahon, Taegan A; Relyea, Rick A

    2017-12-01

    There are many examples where the use of chemicals have had profound unintended consequences, such as fertilizers reducing crop yields (paradox of enrichment) and insecticides increasing insect pests (by reducing natural biocontrol). Recently, the application of agrochemicals, such as agricultural disinfectants and fungicides, has been explored as an approach to curb the pathogenic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which is associated with worldwide amphibian declines. However, the long-term, net effects of early-life exposure to these chemicals on amphibian disease risk have not been thoroughly investigated. Using a combination of laboratory experiments and analysis of data from the literature, we explored the effects of fungicide exposure on Bd infections in two frog species. Extremely low concentrations of the fungicides azoxystrobin, chlorothalonil, and mancozeb were directly toxic to Bd in culture. However, estimated environmental concentrations of the fungicides did not reduce Bd on Cuban tree frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) tadpoles exposed simultaneously to any of these fungicides and Bd, and fungicide exposure actually increased Bd-induced mortality. Additionally, exposure to any of these fungicides as tadpoles resulted in higher Bd abundance and greater Bd-induced mortality when challenged with Bd post-metamorphosis, an average of 71 d after their last fungicide exposure. Analysis of data from the literature revealed that previous exposure to the fungicide itraconazole, which is commonly used to clear Bd infections, made the critically endangered booroolong frog (Litoria booroolongensis) more susceptible to Bd. Finally, a field survey revealed that Bd prevalence was positively associated with concentrations of fungicides in ponds. Although fungicides show promise for controlling Bd, these results suggest that, if fungicides do not completely eliminate Bd or if Bd recolonizes, exposure to fungicides has the potential to do more harm than

  7. Fight Fungi with Fungi: Antifungal Properties of the Amphibian Mycobiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearns, Patrick J; Fischer, Sarah; Fernández-Beaskoetxea, Saioa; Gabor, Caitlin R; Bosch, Jaime; Bowen, Jennifer L; Tlusty, Michael F; Woodhams, Douglas C

    2017-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases caused by fungal taxa are increasing and are placing a substantial burden on economies and ecosystems worldwide. Of the emerging fungal diseases, chytridomycosis caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (hereafter Bd ) is linked to global amphibian declines. Amphibians have innate immunity, as well as additional resistance through cutaneous microbial communities. Despite the targeting of bacteria as potential probiotics, the role of fungi in the protection against Bd infection in unknown. We used a four-part approach, including high-throughput sequencing of bacterial and fungal communities, cultivation of fungi, Bd challenge assays, and experimental additions of probiotic to Midwife Toads ( Altyes obstetricans ), to examine the overlapping roles of bacterial and fungal microbiota in pathogen defense in captive bred poison arrow frogs ( Dendrobates sp.). Our results revealed that cutaneous fungal taxa differed from environmental microbiota across three species and a subspecies of Dendrobates spp. frogs. Cultivation of host-associated and environmental fungi realved numerous taxa with the ability to inhibit or facilitate the growth of Bd . The abundance of cutaneous fungi contributed more to Bd defense (~45% of the fungal community), than did bacteria (~10%) and frog species harbored distinct inhibitory communities that were distinct from the environment. Further, we demonstrated that a fungal probiotic therapy did not induce an endocrine-immune reaction, in contrast to bacterial probiotics that stressed amphibian hosts and suppressed antimicrobial peptide responses, limiting their long-term colonization potential. Our results suggest that probiotic strategies against amphibian fungal pathogens should, in addition to bacterial probiotics, focus on host-associated and environmental fungi such as Penicillium and members of the families Chaetomiaceae and Lasiosphaeriaceae.

  8. Fight Fungi with Fungi: Antifungal Properties of the Amphibian Mycobiome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J. Kearns

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Emerging infectious diseases caused by fungal taxa are increasing and are placing a substantial burden on economies and ecosystems worldwide. Of the emerging fungal diseases, chytridomycosis caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (hereafter Bd is linked to global amphibian declines. Amphibians have innate immunity, as well as additional resistance through cutaneous microbial communities. Despite the targeting of bacteria as potential probiotics, the role of fungi in the protection against Bd infection in unknown. We used a four-part approach, including high-throughput sequencing of bacterial and fungal communities, cultivation of fungi, Bd challenge assays, and experimental additions of probiotic to Midwife Toads (Altyes obstetricans, to examine the overlapping roles of bacterial and fungal microbiota in pathogen defense in captive bred poison arrow frogs (Dendrobates sp.. Our results revealed that cutaneous fungal taxa differed from environmental microbiota across three species and a subspecies of Dendrobates spp. frogs. Cultivation of host-associated and environmental fungi realved numerous taxa with the ability to inhibit or facilitate the growth of Bd. The abundance of cutaneous fungi contributed more to Bd defense (~45% of the fungal community, than did bacteria (~10% and frog species harbored distinct inhibitory communities that were distinct from the environment. Further, we demonstrated that a fungal probiotic therapy did not induce an endocrine-immune reaction, in contrast to bacterial probiotics that stressed amphibian hosts and suppressed antimicrobial peptide responses, limiting their long-term colonization potential. Our results suggest that probiotic strategies against amphibian fungal pathogens should, in addition to bacterial probiotics, focus on host-associated and environmental fungi such as Penicillium and members of the families Chaetomiaceae and Lasiosphaeriaceae.

  9. Book review: Fowler's zoo and wild animal medicine (volume 8)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleeman, Jonathan M.

    2014-01-01

    In the eighth volume of Fowler's Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine, the editors have returned to the original, comprehensive, taxa-based format last used in the fifth volume that was released in 2003. The book consists of 82 chapters, divided into taxonomic classes that include amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, and a general topics section. The editors deliberately selected new senior authors who are expert veterinary advisors for the various taxa. This international assemblage of authors is impressive, although the book would have benefited from a greater diversity of disciplinary expertise. Synthesis of the large and expanding body of knowledge about zoo and wild animal medicine is a Sisyphean task, but one that the editors have accomplished well. The chapters were well written and are beautifully illustrated with high-quality images and generally well referenced. Much of the information is summarized in tabular format, which I found both a blessing and a curse. Tabulation of hematologic variables and anesthetic doses is helpful; however, tabulation of information regarding infectious and parasitic diseases results in a loss of detail. For example, methods of diagnosis for some diseases are omitted from some tables. The need for succinctness results in trade-offs, and statements such as “Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis … is one of the most well described pathogens of anurans” with no further information leaves readers unsated. In addition, the book does not have any chapters on fish or invertebrates, which are notable omissions given the importance of these species. Those quibbles aside, this is a must-have book for all zoo and wild animal medicine students and practitioners. However, perhaps it is time to recognize that, during the 36 years since the first volume was published, this discipline has become too large to be contained in 1 book. This is largely because of the success of this book series, and it is a nice problem to have.

  10. Is Chytridiomycosis an Emerging Infectious Disease in Asia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swei, Andrea; Rowley, Jodi J. L.; Rödder, Dennis; Diesmos, Mae L. L.; Diesmos, Arvin C.; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Brown, Rafe; Cao, Trung Tien; Cheng, Tina L.; Chong, Rebecca A.; Han, Ben; Hero, Jean-Marc; Hoang, Huy Duc; Kusrini, Mirza D.; Le, Duong Thi Thuy; McGuire, Jimmy A.; Meegaskumbura, Madhava; Min, Mi-Sook; Mulcahy, Daniel G.; Neang, Thy; Phimmachak, Somphouthone; Rao, Ding-Qi; Reeder, Natalie M.; Schoville, Sean D.; Sivongxay, Niane; Srei, Narin; Stöck, Matthias; Stuart, Bryan L.; Torres, Lilia S.; Tran, Dao Thi Anh; Tunstall, Tate S.; Vieites, David; Vredenburg, Vance T.

    2011-01-01

    The disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has caused dramatic amphibian population declines and extinctions in Australia, Central and North America, and Europe. Bd is associated with >200 species extinctions of amphibians, but not all species that become infected are susceptible to the disease. Specifically, Bd has rapidly emerged in some areas of the world, such as in Australia, USA, and throughout Central and South America, causing population and species collapse. The mechanism behind the rapid global emergence of the disease is poorly understood, in part due to an incomplete picture of the global distribution of Bd. At present, there is a considerable amount of geographic bias in survey effort for Bd, with Asia being the most neglected continent. To date, Bd surveys have been published for few Asian countries, and infected amphibians have been reported only from Indonesia, South Korea, China and Japan. Thus far, there have been no substantiated reports of enigmatic or suspected disease-caused population declines of the kind that has been attributed to Bd in other areas. In order to gain a more detailed picture of the distribution of Bd in Asia, we undertook a widespread, opportunistic survey of over 3,000 amphibians for Bd throughout Asia and adjoining Papua New Guinea. Survey sites spanned 15 countries, approximately 36° latitude, 111° longitude, and over 2000 m in elevation. Bd prevalence was very low throughout our survey area (2.35% overall) and infected animals were not clumped as would be expected in epizootic events. This suggests that Bd is either newly emerging in Asia, endemic at low prevalence, or that some other ecological factor is preventing Bd from fully invading Asian amphibians. The current observed pattern in Asia differs from that in many other parts of the world. PMID:21887238

  11. Perspectives on invasive amphibians in Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas Rodriguez Forti

    Full Text Available Introduced species have the potential to become invasive and jeopardize entire ecosystems. The success of species establishing viable populations outside their original extent depends primarily on favorable climatic conditions in the invasive ranges. Species distribution modeling (SDM can thus be used to estimate potential habitat suitability for populations of invasive species. Here we review the status of six amphibian species with invasive populations in Brazil (four domestic species and two imported species. We (i modeled the current habitat suitability and future potential distribution of these six focal species, (ii reported on the disease status of Eleutherodactylus johnstonei and Phyllodytes luteolus, and (iii quantified the acoustic overlap of P. luteolus and Leptodactylus labyrinthicus with three co-occurring native species. Our models indicated that all six invasive species could potentially expand their ranges in Brazil within the next few decades. In addition, our SDMs predicted important expansions in available habitat for 2 out of 6 invasive species under future (2100 climatic conditions. We detected high acoustic niche overlap between invasive and native amphibian species, underscoring that acoustic interference might reduce mating success in local frogs. Despite the American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus being recognized as a potential reservoir for the frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd in Brazil, we did not detect Bd in the recently introduced population of E. johnstonei and P. luteolus in the State of São Paulo. We emphasize that the number of invasive amphibian species in Brazil is increasing exponentially, highlighting the urgent need to monitor and control these populations and decrease potential impacts on the locally biodiverse wildlife.

  12. Larval Environment Alters Amphibian Immune Defenses Differentially across Life Stages and Populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine L Krynak

    Full Text Available Recent global declines, extirpations and extinctions of wildlife caused by newly emergent diseases highlight the need to improve our knowledge of common environmental factors that affect the strength of immune defense traits. To achieve this goal, we examined the influence of acidification and shading of the larval environment on amphibian skin-associated innate immune defense traits, pre and post-metamorphosis, across two populations of American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana, a species known for its wide-ranging environmental tolerance and introduced global distribution. We assessed treatment effects on 1 skin-associated microbial communities and 2 post-metamorphic antimicrobial peptide (AMP production and 3 AMP bioactivity against the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. While habitat acidification did not affect survival, time to metamorphosis or juvenile mass, we found that a change in average pH from 7 to 6 caused a significant shift in the larval skin microbial community, an effect which disappeared after metamorphosis. Additionally, we found shifts in skin-associated microbial communities across life stages suggesting they are affected by the physiological or ecological changes associated with amphibian metamorphosis. Moreover, we found that post-metamorphic AMP production and bioactivity were significantly affected by the interactions between pH and shade treatments and interactive effects differed across populations. In contrast, there were no significant interactions between treatments on post-metamorphic microbial community structure suggesting that variation in AMPs did not affect microbial community structure within our study. Our findings indicate that commonly encountered variation in the larval environment (i.e. pond pH and degree of shading can have both immediate and long-term effects on the amphibian innate immune defense traits. Our work suggests that the susceptibility of amphibians to emerging diseases could be

  13. Dramatic Declines of Montane Frogs in a Central African Biodiversity Hotspot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirschfeld, Mareike; Blackburn, David C.; Doherty-Bone, Thomas M.; Gonwouo, LeGrand Nono; Ghose, Sonia; Rödel, Mark-Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Amphibian populations are vanishing worldwide. Declines and extinctions of many populations have been attributed to chytridiomycosis, a disease induced by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). In Africa, however, changes in amphibian assemblages were typically attributed to habitat change. We conducted a retrospective study utilizing field surveys from 2004–2012 of the anuran faunas on two mountains in western Cameroon, a hotspot of African amphibian diversity. The number of species detected was negatively influenced by year, habitat degradation, and elevation, and we detected a decline of certain species. Because another study in this region revealed an emergence of Bd in 2008, we screened additional recent field-collected samples and also pre-decline preserved museum specimens for the presence of Bd supporting emergence before 2008. When comparing the years before and after Bd detection, we found significantly diminished frog species richness and abundance on both mountains after Bd emergence. Our analyses suggest that this may be the first disease-driven community-level decline in anuran biodiversity in Central Africa. The disappearance of several species known to tolerate habitat degradation, and a trend of stronger declines at higher elevations, are consistent with Bd-induced declines in other regions. Not all species decreased; populations of some species remained constant, and others increased after the emergence of Bd. This variation might be explained by species-specific differences in infection probability. Increased habitat protection and Bd-mitigation strategies are needed for sustaining diverse amphibian communities such as those on Mt. Manengouba, which contains nearly half of Cameroon’s frog diversity. PMID:27149624

  14. Cool temperatures reduce antifungal activity of symbiotic bacteria of threatened amphibians--implications for disease management and patterns of decline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua H Daskin

    Full Text Available Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, is a widespread disease of amphibians responsible for population declines and extinctions. Some bacteria from amphibians' skins produce antimicrobial substances active against Bd. Supplementing populations of these cutaneous antifungal bacteria might help manage chytridiomycosis in wild amphibians. However, the activity of protective bacteria may depend upon environmental conditions. Biocontrol of Bd in nature thus requires knowledge of how environmental conditions affect their anti-Bd activity. For example, Bd-driven amphibian declines have often occurred at temperatures below Bd's optimum range. It is possible these declines occurred due to reduced anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts at cool temperatures. Better understanding of the effects of temperature on chytridiomycosis development could also improve risk evaluation for amphibian populations yet to encounter Bd. We characterized, at a range of temperatures approximating natural seasonal variation, the anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts from the skins of three species of rainforest tree frogs (Litoria nannotis, Litoria rheocola, and Litoria serrata. All three species declined during chytridiomycosis outbreaks in the late 1980s and early 1990s and have subsequently recovered to differing extents. We collected anti-Bd bacterial symbionts from frogs and cultured the bacteria at constant temperatures from 8 °C to 33 °C. Using a spectrophotometric assay, we monitored Bd growth in cell-free supernatants (CFSs from each temperature treatment. CFSs from 11 of 24 bacteria showed reduced anti-Bd activity in vitro when they were produced at cool temperatures similar to those encountered by the host species during population declines. Reduced anti-Bd activity of metabolites produced at low temperatures may, therefore, partially explain the association between Bd-driven declines and cool temperatures. We show that to

  15. Infection dynamics in frog populations with different histories of decline caused by a deadly disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapsford, Sarah J; Voordouw, Maarten J; Alford, Ross A; Schwarzkopf, Lin

    2015-12-01

    Pathogens can drive host population dynamics. Chytridiomycosis is a fungal disease of amphibians that is caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). This pathogen has caused declines and extinctions in some host species whereas other host species coexist with Bd without suffering declines. In the early 1990s, Bd extirpated populations of the endangered common mistfrog, Litoria rheocola, at high-elevation sites, while populations of the species persisted at low-elevation sites. Today, populations have reappeared at many high-elevation sites where they presently co-exist with the fungus. We conducted a capture-mark-recapture (CMR) study of six populations of L. rheocola over 1 year, at high and low elevations. We used multistate CMR models to determine which factors (Bd infection status, site type, and season) influenced rates of frog survival, recapture, infection, and recovery from infection. We observed Bd-induced mortality of individual frogs, but did not find any significant effect of Bd infection on the survival rate of L. rheocola at the population level. Survival and recapture rates depended on site type and season. Infection rate was highest in winter when temperatures were favourable for pathogen growth, and differed among site types. The recovery rate was high (75.7-85.8%) across seasons, and did not differ among site types. The coexistence of L. rheocola with Bd suggests that (1) frog populations are becoming resistant to the fungus, (2) Bd may have evolved lower virulence, or (3) current environmental conditions may be inhibiting outbreaks of the fatal disease.

  16. Climate forcing of an emerging pathogenic fungus across a montane multi-host community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clare, Frances C; Halder, Julia B; Daniel, Olivia; Bielby, Jon; Semenov, Mikhail A; Jombart, Thibaut; Loyau, Adeline; Schmeller, Dirk S; Cunningham, Andrew A; Rowcliffe, Marcus; Garner, Trenton W J; Bosch, Jaime; Fisher, Matthew C

    2016-12-05

    Changes in the timings of seasonality as a result of anthropogenic climate change are predicted to occur over the coming decades. While this is expected to have widespread impacts on the dynamics of infectious disease through environmental forcing, empirical data are lacking. Here, we investigated whether seasonality, specifically the timing of spring ice-thaw, affected susceptibility to infection by the emerging pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) across a montane community of amphibians that are suffering declines and extirpations as a consequence of this infection. We found a robust temporal association between the timing of the spring thaw and Bd infection in two host species, where we show that an early onset of spring forced high prevalences of infection. A third highly susceptible species (the midwife toad, Alytes obstetricans) maintained a high prevalence of infection independent of time of spring thaw. Our data show that perennially overwintering midwife toad larvae may act as a year-round reservoir of infection with variation in time of spring thaw determining the extent to which infection spills over into sympatric species. We used future temperature projections based on global climate models to demonstrate that the timing of spring thaw in this region will advance markedly by the 2050s, indicating that climate change will further force the severity of infection. Our findings on the effect of annual variability on multi-host infection dynamics show that the community-level impact of fungal infectious disease on biodiversity will need to be re-evaluated in the face of climate change.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience'. © 2016 The Authors.

  17. Dramatic Declines of Montane Frogs in a Central African Biodiversity Hotspot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mareike Hirschfeld

    Full Text Available Amphibian populations are vanishing worldwide. Declines and extinctions of many populations have been attributed to chytridiomycosis, a disease induced by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. In Africa, however, changes in amphibian assemblages were typically attributed to habitat change. We conducted a retrospective study utilizing field surveys from 2004-2012 of the anuran faunas on two mountains in western Cameroon, a hotspot of African amphibian diversity. The number of species detected was negatively influenced by year, habitat degradation, and elevation, and we detected a decline of certain species. Because another study in this region revealed an emergence of Bd in 2008, we screened additional recent field-collected samples and also pre-decline preserved museum specimens for the presence of Bd supporting emergence before 2008. When comparing the years before and after Bd detection, we found significantly diminished frog species richness and abundance on both mountains after Bd emergence. Our analyses suggest that this may be the first disease-driven community-level decline in anuran biodiversity in Central Africa. The disappearance of several species known to tolerate habitat degradation, and a trend of stronger declines at higher elevations, are consistent with Bd-induced declines in other regions. Not all species decreased; populations of some species remained constant, and others increased after the emergence of Bd. This variation might be explained by species-specific differences in infection probability. Increased habitat protection and Bd-mitigation strategies are needed for sustaining diverse amphibian communities such as those on Mt. Manengouba, which contains nearly half of Cameroon's frog diversity.

  18. Imperfect pathogen detection from non-invasive skin swabs biases disease inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiRenzo, Graziella V.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Longo, Ana; Che-Castaldo, Christian; Zamudio, Kelly R.; Lips, Karen

    2018-01-01

    1. Conservation managers rely on accurate estimates of disease parameters, such as pathogen prevalence and infection intensity, to assess disease status of a host population. However, these disease metrics may be biased if low-level infection intensities are missed by sampling methods or laboratory diagnostic tests. These false negatives underestimate pathogen prevalence and overestimate mean infection intensity of infected individuals. 2. Our objectives were two-fold. First, we quantified false negative error rates of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on non-invasive skin swabs collected from an amphibian community in El Copé, Panama. We swabbed amphibians twice in sequence, and we used a recently developed hierarchical Bayesian estimator to assess disease status of the population. Second, we developed a novel hierarchical Bayesian model to simultaneously account for imperfect pathogen detection from field sampling and laboratory diagnostic testing. We evaluated the performance of the model using simulations and varying sampling design to quantify the magnitude of bias in estimates of pathogen prevalence and infection intensity. 3. We show that Bd detection probability from skin swabs was related to host infection intensity, where Bd infections disease systems, particularly those with similar objectives, biology, and sampling decisions. 4. Uncertainty in pathogen detection is an inherent property of most sampling protocols and diagnostic tests, where the magnitude of bias depends on the study system, type of infection, and false negative error rates. Given that it may be difficult to know this information in advance, we advocate that the most cautious approach is to assume all errors are possible and to accommodate them by adjusting sampling designs. The modeling framework presented here improves the accuracy in estimating pathogen prevalence and infection intensity.

  19. The effect of captivity on the skin microbial symbionts in three Atelopus species from the lowlands of Colombia and Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra V. Flechas

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Many amphibian species are at risk of extinction in their natural habitats due to the presence of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. For the most highly endangered species, captive assurance colonies have been established as an emergency measure to avoid extinction. Experimental research has suggested that symbiotic microorganisms in the skin of amphibians play a key role against Bd. While previous studies have addressed the effects of captivity on the cutaneous bacterial community, it remains poorly studied whether and how captive conditions affect the proportion of beneficial bacteria or their anti-Bd performance on amphibian hosts. In this study we sampled three amphibian species of the highly threatened genus, Atelopus, that remain in the wild but are also part of ex situ breeding programs in Colombia and Ecuador. Our goals were to (1 estimate the diversity of culturable bacterial assemblages in these three species of Atelopus, (2 describe the effect of captivity on the composition of skin microbiota, and (3 examine how captivity affects the bacterial ability to inhibit Bd growth. Using challenge assays we tested each bacterial isolate against Bd, and through sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we identified species from thirteen genera of bacteria that inhibited Bd growth. Surprisingly, we did not detect a reduction in skin bacteria diversity in captive frogs. Moreover, we found that frogs in captivity still harbor bacteria with anti-Bd activity. Although the scope of our study is limited to a few species and to the culturable portion of the bacterial community, our results indicate that captive programs do not necessarily change bacterial communities of the toad skins in a way that impedes the control of Bd in case of an eventual reintroduction.

  20. Reconstructing the early evolution of the fungi using a six gene phylogeny

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    James, T.Y.; Kauff, F.; Schoch, C.L.; Matheny, P.B.; Hofstetter, V.; Cox, C.J.; Celio, G.; Gueidan, C.; Fraker, E.; Miadlikowska, J.; Lumbsch, H.T.; Rauhut, A.; Reeb, V.; Arnold, A.E.; Amtoft, A.; Stajich, J.E.; Hosaka, K.; Sung, G.H.; Johnson, D.; O'Rourke, B.; Binder, M.; Curtis, J.M.; Slot, J.C.; Wang, Z.; Wilson, A.W.; Schüßler, A.; Longcore, J.E.; O'Donnell, K.; Mozley-Standridge, S.; Porter, D.; Letcher, P.M.; Powell, M.J.; Taylor, J.W.; White, M.M.; Griffith, G.W.; Davies, D.R.; Sugiyama, J.; Rossman, A.Y.; Rogers, J.D.; Pfister, D.H.; Hewitt, D.; Hansen, K.; Hambleton, S.; Shoemaker, R.A.; Kohlmeyer, J.; Volkmann-Kohlmeyer, B.; Spotts, R.A.; Serdani, M.; Crous, P.W.; Hughes, K.W.; Matsuura, K.; Langer, E.; Langer, G.; Untereiner, W.A.; Lücking, R.; Büdel, B.; Geiser, D.M.; Aptroot, A.; Diederich, P.; Schmitt, I.; Schultz, M.; Yahr, R.; Hibbett, D.S.; Lutzoni, F.; McLaughlin, D.J.; Spatafora, J.W.; Vilgalys, R.

    2006-01-01

    The ancestors of fungi are believed to be simple aquatic forms with flagellated spores, similar to members of the extant phylum Chytridiomycota (chytrids). Current classifications assume that chytrids form an early-diverging clade within the kingdom Fungi and imply a single loss of the spore

  1. Reconstructing the early evolution of Fungi using a six-gene phylogeny

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    James, Timothy Y; Kauff, Frank; Schoch, Conrad L; Matheny, P Brandon; Hofstetter, Valérie; Cox, Cymon J; Celio, Gail; Gueidan, Cécile; Fraker, Emily; Miadlikowska, Jolanta; Lumbsch, H Thorsten; Rauhut, Alexandra; Reeb, Valérie; Arnold, A Elizabeth; Amtoft, Anja; Stajich, Jason E; Hosaka, Kentaro; Sung, Gi-Ho; Johnson, Desiree; O'Rourke, Ben; Crockett, Michael; Binder, Manfred; Curtis, Judd M; Slot, Jason C; Wang, Zheng; Wilson, Andrew W; Schüssler, Arthur; Longcore, Joyce E; O'Donnell, Kerry; Mozley-Standridge, Sharon; Porter, David; Letcher, Peter M; Powell, Martha J; Taylor, John W; White, Merlin M; Griffith, Gareth W; Davies, David R; Humber, Richard A; Morton, Joseph B; Sugiyama, Junta; Rossman, Amy Y; Rogers, Jack D; Pfister, Don H; Hewitt, David; Hansen, Karen; Hambleton, Sarah; Shoemaker, Robert A; Kohlmeyer, Jan; Volkmann-Kohlmeyer, Brigitte; Spotts, Robert A; Serdani, Maryna; Crous, Pedro W; Hughes, Karen W; Matsuura, Kenji; Langer, Ewald; Langer, Gitta; Untereiner, Wendy A; Lücking, Robert; Büdel, Burkhard; Geiser, David M; Aptroot, André; Diederich, Paul; Schmitt, Imke; Schultz, Matthias; Yahr, Rebecca; Hibbett, David S; Lutzoni, François; McLaughlin, David J; Spatafora, Joseph W; Vilgalys, Rytas

    2006-01-01

    The ancestors of fungi are believed to be simple aquatic forms with flagellated spores, similar to members of the extant phylum Chytridiomycota (chytrids). Current classifications assume that chytrids form an early-diverging clade within the kingdom Fungi and imply a single loss of the spore

  2. Culture Media and Individual Hosts Affect the Recovery of Culturable Bacterial Diversity from Amphibian Skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Daniel; Walke, Jenifer B; Gajewski, Zachary; Becker, Matthew H; Swartwout, Meredith C; Belden, Lisa K

    2017-01-01

    One current challenge in microbial ecology is elucidating the functional roles of the large diversity of free-living and host-associated bacteria identified by culture-independent molecular methods. Importantly, the characterization of this immense bacterial diversity will likely require merging data from culture-independent approaches with work on bacterial isolates in culture. Amphibian skin bacterial communities have become a recent focus of work in host-associated microbial systems due to the potential role of these skin bacteria in host defense against the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which is associated with global amphibian population declines and extinctions. As there is evidence that some skin bacteria may inhibit growth of Bd and prevent infection in some cases, there is interest in using these bacteria as probiotic therapy for conservation of at-risk amphibians. In this study, we used skin swabs from American toads ( Anaxyrus americanus ) to: (1) assess the diversity and community structure of culturable amphibian skin bacteria grown on high and low nutrient culture media, (2) determine which culture media recover the highest proportion of the total skin bacterial community of individual toads relative to culture-independent data, and (3) assess whether the plated communities from the distinct media types vary in their ability to inhibit Bd growth in in-vitro assays. Overall, we found that culture media with low nutrient concentrations facilitated the growth of more diverse bacterial taxa and grew distinct communities relative to media with higher nutrient concentrations. Use of low nutrient media also resulted in culturing proportionally more of the bacterial diversity on individual toads relative to the overall community defined using culture-independent methods. However, while there were differences in diversity among media types, the variation among individual hosts was greater than variation among media types, suggesting

  3. Imperfect pathogen detection from non-invasive skin swabs biases disease inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiRenzo, Graziella V.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Longo, Ana; Che-Castaldo, Christian; Zamudio, Kelly R.; Lips, Karen

    2018-01-01

    1. Conservation managers rely on accurate estimates of disease parameters, such as pathogen prevalence and infection intensity, to assess disease status of a host population. However, these disease metrics may be biased if low-level infection intensities are missed by sampling methods or laboratory diagnostic tests. These false negatives underestimate pathogen prevalence and overestimate mean infection intensity of infected individuals. 2. Our objectives were two-fold. First, we quantified false negative error rates of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on non-invasive skin swabs collected from an amphibian community in El Copé, Panama. We swabbed amphibians twice in sequence, and we used a recently developed hierarchical Bayesian estimator to assess disease status of the population. Second, we developed a novel hierarchical Bayesian model to simultaneously account for imperfect pathogen detection from field sampling and laboratory diagnostic testing. We evaluated the performance of the model using simulations and varying sampling design to quantify the magnitude of bias in estimates of pathogen prevalence and infection intensity. 3. We show that Bd detection probability from skin swabs was related to host infection intensity, where Bd infections < 10 zoospores have < 95% probability of being detected. If imperfect Bd detection was not considered, then Bd prevalence was underestimated by as much as 16%. In the Bd-amphibian system, this indicates a need to correct for imperfect pathogen detection caused by skin swabs in persisting host communities with low-level infections. More generally, our results have implications for study designs in other disease systems, particularly those with similar objectives, biology, and sampling decisions. 4. Uncertainty in pathogen detection is an inherent property of most sampling protocols and diagnostic tests, where the magnitude of bias depends on the study system, type of infection, and false negative error rates. Given that it may

  4. Geophysiology of Wood Frogs: Landscape Patterns of Prevalence of Disease and Circulating Hormone Concentrations across the Eastern Range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespi, Erica J; Rissler, Leslie J; Mattheus, Nichole M; Engbrecht, Kristin; Duncan, Sarah I; Seaborn, Travis; Hall, Emily M; Peterson, John D; Brunner, Jesse L

    2015-10-01

    One of the major challenges for conservation physiologists is to determine how current or future environmental conditions relate to the health of animals at the population level. In this study, we measured prevalence of disease, mean condition of the body, and mean resting levels of corticosterone and testosterone in a total of 28 populations across the years 2011 and 2012, and correlated these measures of health to climatic suitability of habitat, using estimates from a model of the ecological niche of the wood frog's geographic range. Using the core-periphery hypothesis as a theoretical framework, we predicted a higher prevalence and intensity of infection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and ranaviruses, two major amphibian pathogens causing disease, and higher resting levels of circulating corticosterone, an indicator of allostatic load incurred from living in marginal habitats. We found that Bd infections were rare (2% of individuals tested), while infections with ranavirus were much more common: ranavirus-infected individuals were found in 92% of ponds tested over the 2 years. Contrary to our predictions, rates of infection with ranaviruses were positively correlated with quality of the habitat with the highest prevalence at the core of the range, and plasma corticosterone concentrations measured when frogs were at rest were not correlated with quality of the habitat, the prevalence of ranavirus, or the intensity of infection. Prevalence and mean viral titers of ranavirus infection were higher in 2012 than in 2011, which coincided with lower levels of circulating corticosterone and testosterone and an extremely early time of breeding due to relatively higher temperatures during the winter. In addition, the odds of having a ranavirus infection increased with decreased body condition, and if animals had an infection, viral titers were positively correlated to levels of circulating testosterone concentration. By resolving these patterns, experiments can be

  5. Widespread Elevational Occurrence of Antifungal Bacteria in Andean Amphibians Decimated by Disease: A Complex Role for Skin Symbionts in Defense Against Chytridiomycosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Catenazzi

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Emerging infectious disease is a growing threat to global health, and recent discoveries reveal that the microbiota dwelling on and within hosts can play an important role in health and disease. To understand the capacity of skin bacteria to protect amphibian hosts from the fungal disease chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, we isolated 192 bacterial morphotypes from the skin of 28 host species of frogs (families Bufonidae, Centrolenidae, Hemiphractidae, Hylidae, Leptodactylidae, Strabomantidae, and Telmatobiidae collected from the eastern slopes of the Peruvian Andes (540–3,865 m a.s.l. in the Kosñipata Valley near Manu National Park, a site where we previously documented the collapse of montane frog communities following chytridiomycosis epizootics. We obtained isolates through agar culture from skin swabs of wild frogs, and identified bacterial isolates by comparing 16S rRNA sequences against the GenBank database using BLAST. We identified 178 bacterial strains of 38 genera, including 59 bacterial species not previously reported from any amphibian host. The most common bacterial isolates were species of Pseudomonas, Paenibacillus, Chryseobacterium, Comamonas, Sphingobacterium, and Stenotrophomonas. We assayed the anti-fungal abilities of 133 bacterial isolates from 26 frog species. To test whether cutaneous bacteria might inhibit growth of the fungal pathogen, we used a local Bd strain isolated from the mouthparts of stream-dwelling tadpoles (Hypsiboas gladiator, Hylidae. We quantified Bd-inhibition in vitro with co-culture assays. We found 20 bacterial isolates that inhibited Bd growth, including three isolates not previously known for such inhibitory abilities. Anti-Bd isolates occurred on aquatic and terrestrial breeding frogs across a wide range of elevations (560–3,695 m a.s.l.. The inhibitory ability of anti-Bd isolates varied considerably. The proportion of anti-Bd isolates was lowest at mid-elevations (6

  6. Estimating Herd Immunity to Amphibian Chytridiomycosis in Madagascar Based on the Defensive Function of Amphibian Skin Bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molly C. Bletz

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available For decades, Amphibians have been globally threatened by the still expanding infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. Madagascar is an amphibian biodiversity hotspot where Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has only recently been detected. While no Bd-associated population declines have been reported, the risk of declines is high when invasive virulent lineages become involved. Cutaneous bacteria contribute to host innate immunity by providing defense against pathogens for numerous animals, including amphibians. Little is known, however, about the cutaneous bacterial residents of Malagasy amphibians and the functional capacity they have against Bd. We cultured 3179 skin bacterial isolates from over 90 frog species across Madagascar, identified them via Sanger sequencing of approximately 700 bp of the 16S rRNA gene, and characterized their functional capacity against Bd. A subset of isolates was also tested against multiple Bd genotypes. In addition, we applied the concept of herd immunity to estimate Bd-associated risk for amphibian communities across Madagascar based on bacterial antifungal activity. We found that multiple bacterial isolates (39% of all isolates cultured from the skin of Malagasy frogs were able to inhibit Bd. Mean inhibition was weakly correlated with bacterial phylogeny, and certain taxonomic groups appear to have a high proportion of inhibitory isolates, such as the Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Xanthamonadaceae (84, 80, and 75% respectively. Functional capacity of bacteria against Bd varied among Bd genotypes; however, there were some bacteria that showed broad spectrum inhibition against all tested Bd genotypes, suggesting that these bacteria would be good candidates for probiotic therapies. We estimated Bd-associated risk for sampled amphibian communities based on the concept of herd immunity. Multiple amphibian communities, including those in the amphibian diversity hotspots, Andasibe and Ranomafana, were

  7. Estimating Herd Immunity to Amphibian Chytridiomycosis in Madagascar Based on the Defensive Function of Amphibian Skin Bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletz, Molly C; Myers, Jillian; Woodhams, Douglas C; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C E; Rakotonirina, Angela; Weldon, Che; Edmonds, Devin; Vences, Miguel; Harris, Reid N

    2017-01-01

    For decades, Amphibians have been globally threatened by the still expanding infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. Madagascar is an amphibian biodiversity hotspot where Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ) has only recently been detected. While no Bd -associated population declines have been reported, the risk of declines is high when invasive virulent lineages become involved. Cutaneous bacteria contribute to host innate immunity by providing defense against pathogens for numerous animals, including amphibians. Little is known, however, about the cutaneous bacterial residents of Malagasy amphibians and the functional capacity they have against Bd . We cultured 3179 skin bacterial isolates from over 90 frog species across Madagascar, identified them via Sanger sequencing of approximately 700 bp of the 16S rRNA gene, and characterized their functional capacity against Bd . A subset of isolates was also tested against multiple Bd genotypes. In addition, we applied the concept of herd immunity to estimate Bd -associated risk for amphibian communities across Madagascar based on bacterial antifungal activity. We found that multiple bacterial isolates (39% of all isolates) cultured from the skin of Malagasy frogs were able to inhibit Bd . Mean inhibition was weakly correlated with bacterial phylogeny, and certain taxonomic groups appear to have a high proportion of inhibitory isolates, such as the Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Xanthamonadaceae (84, 80, and 75% respectively). Functional capacity of bacteria against Bd varied among Bd genotypes; however, there were some bacteria that showed broad spectrum inhibition against all tested Bd genotypes, suggesting that these bacteria would be good candidates for probiotic therapies. We estimated Bd -associated risk for sampled amphibian communities based on the concept of herd immunity. Multiple amphibian communities, including those in the amphibian diversity hotspots, Andasibe and Ranomafana, were estimated to be

  8. Effects of host species and environment on the skin microbiome of Plethodontid salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muletz-Wolz, Carly R.; Yarwood, Stephanie A.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Fleischer, Robert C.; Lips, Karen R.

    2018-01-01

    The amphibian skin microbiome is recognized for its role in defence against pathogens, including the deadly fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Yet, we have little understanding of evolutionary and ecological processes that structure these communities, especially for salamanders and closely related species. We investigated patterns in the distribution of bacterial communities on Plethodon salamander skin across host species and environments.Quantifying salamander skin microbiome structure contributes to our understanding of how host-associated bacteria are distributed across the landscape, among host species, and their putative relationship with disease.We characterized skin microbiome structure (alpha-diversity, beta-diversity and bacterial operational taxonomic unit [OTU] abundances) using 16S rRNA gene sequencing for co-occurring Plethodon salamander species (35 Plethodon cinereus, 17 Plethodon glutinosus, 10 Plethodon cylindraceus) at three localities to differentiate the effects of host species from environmental factors on the microbiome. We sampled the microbiome of P. cinereus along an elevational gradient (n = 50, 700–1,000 m a.s.l.) at one locality to determine whether elevation predicts microbiome structure. Finally, we quantified prevalence and abundance of putatively anti-Bd bacteria to determine if Bd-inhibitory bacteria are dominant microbiome members.Co-occurring salamanders had similar microbiome structure, but among sites salamanders had dissimilar microbiome structure for beta-diversity and abundance of 28 bacterial OTUs. We found that alpha-diversity increased with elevation, beta-diversity and the abundance of 17 bacterial OTUs changed with elevation (16 OTUs decreasing, 1 OTU increasing). We detected 11 putatively anti-Bd bacterial OTUs that were present on 90% of salamanders and made up an average relative abundance of 83% (SD ± 8.5) per salamander. All salamanders tested negative for Bd.We conclude that

  9. Temperature-Dependent Effects of Cutaneous Bacteria on a Frog’s Tolerance of Fungal Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J. Robak

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Defense against pathogens is one of many benefits that bacteria provide to animal hosts. A clearer understanding of how changes in the environment affect the interactions between animals and their microbial benefactors is needed in order to predict the impact and dynamics of emerging animal diseases. Due to its dramatic effects on the physiology of animals and their pathogens, temperature may be a key variable modulating the level of protection that beneficial bacteria provide to their animal hosts. Here we investigate how temperature and the makeup of the skin microbial community affect the susceptibility of amphibian hosts to infection by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, one of two fungal pathogens known to cause the disease chytridiomycosis. To do this, we manipulated the skin bacterial communities of susceptible hosts, northern cricket frogs (Acris crepitans, prior to exposing these animals to Bd under two different ecologically relevant temperatures. Our manipulations included one treatment where antibiotics were used to reduce the skin bacterial community, one where the bacterial community was augmented with the antifungal bacterium, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, and one in which the frog’s skin bacterial community was left intact. We predicted that frogs with reduced skin bacterial communities would be more susceptible (i.e., less resistant to and/or tolerant of Bd infection, and frogs with skin bacterial communities augmented with the known antifungal bacterium would be less susceptible to Bd infection and chytridiomycosis. However, we also predicted that this interaction would be temperature dependent. We found a strong effect of temperature but not of skin microbial treatment on the probability and intensity of infection in Bd-exposed frogs. Whether temperature affected survival; however, it differed among our skin microbial treatment groups, with animals having more S. maltophilia on their skin surviving longer at 14 but not at

  10. Occurrence of pesticides in water and sediment collected from amphibian habitats located throughout the United States, 2009-10

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smalling, Kelly L.; Orlando, James L.; Calhoun, Daniel; Battaglin, William A.; Kuivila, Kathryn

    2012-01-01

    Water and bed-sediment samples were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2009 and 2010 from 11 sites within California and 18 sites total in Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, and Oregon, and were analyzed for a suite of pesticides by the USGS. Water samples and bed-sediment samples were collected from perennial or seasonal ponds located in amphibian habitats in conjunction with research conducted by the USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative and the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology Program. Sites selected for this study in three of the states (California, Colorado, and Orgeon) have no direct pesticide application and are considered undeveloped and remote. Sites selected in Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, and Maine were in close proximity to either agricultural or suburban areas. Water and sediment samples were collected once in 2009 during amphibian breeding seasons. In 2010, water samples were collected twice. The first sampling event coincided with the beginning of the frog breeding season for the species of interest, and the second event occurred 10-12 weeks later when pesticides were being applied to the surrounding areas. Additionally, water was collected during each sampling event to measure dissolved organic carbon, nutrients, and the fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which has been linked to amphibian declines worldwide. Bed-sediment samples were collected once during the beginning of the frog breeding season, when the amphibians are thought to be most at risk to pesticides. Results of this study are reported for the following two geographic scales: (1) for a national scale, by using data from the 29 sites that were sampled from seven states, and (2) for California, by using data from the 11 sampled sites in that state. Water samples were analyzed for 96 pesticides by using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. A total of 24 pesticides were detected in one or more of the 54 water samples, including 7 fungicides, 10

  11. Environmental Conditions Determine the Course and Outcome of Phytoplankton Chytridiomycosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Rohrlack

    Full Text Available Chytrid fungi are highly potent parasites of phytoplankton. They are thought to force phytoplankton organisms into an evolutionary arms race with high population diversity as the outcome. The underlying selection regime is known as Red Queen dynamics. However, our study suggests a more complex picture for chytrid parasitism in the cyanobacterium Planktothrix. Laboratory experiments identified a "cold thermal refuge", inside which Planktothrix can grow without chytrid infection. A field study in two Norwegian lakes underlined the ecological significance of this finding. The study utilized sediment DNA as a biological archive in combination with existing monitoring data. In one lake, temperature and light conditions forced Planktothrix outside the thermal refuge for most of the growing season. This probably resulted in Red Queen dynamics as suggested by a high parasitic pressure exerted by chytrids, an increase in Planktothrix genotype diversity over time, and a correlation between Planktothrix genotype diversity and duration of bloom events. In the second lake, a colder climate allowed Planktothrix to largely stay inside the thermal refuge. The parasitic pressure exerted by chytrids and Planktothrix genotype diversity remained low, indicating that Planktothrix successfully evaded the Red Queen dynamics. Episodic Planktothrix blooms were observed during spring and autumn circulation, in the metalimnion or under the ice. Interestingly, both lakes were dominated by the same or related Planktothrix genotypes. Taken together, our data suggest that, depending on environmental conditions, chytrid parasitism can impose distinct selection regimes on conspecific phytoplankton populations with similar genotype composition, causing these populations to behave and perhaps to evolve differently.

  12. Phytoplankton chytridiomycosis: fungal parasites of phytoplankton and their imprints on the food web dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Télesphore eSIME - NGANDO

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Parasitism is one of the earlier and common ecological interactions in the nature, occurring in almost all environments. Microbial parasites typically are characterized by their small size, short generation time, and high rates of reproduction, with simple life cycle occurring generally within a single host. They are diverse and ubiquitous in aquatic ecosystems, comprising viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Recently, environmental 18S-rDNA surveys of microbial eukaryotes have unveiled major infecting agents in pelagic systems, consisting primarily of the fungal order of Chytridiales (chytrids. Chytrids are considered the earlier branch of the Eumycetes and produce motile, flagellated zoospores, characterized by a small size (2-6 µm and a single, posterior flagellum. The existence of these dispersal propagules includes chytrids within the so-called group of zoosporic fungi, which are particularly adapted to the plankton lifestyle where they infect a wide variety of hosts, including fishes, eggs, zooplankton, algae, and other aquatic fungi but primarily freshwater phytoplankton. Related ecological implications are huge because chytrids can killed their hosts, release substrates for microbial processes, and provide nutrient-rich particles as zoospores and short fragments of filamentous inedible hosts for the grazer food chain. Furthermore, based on the observation that phytoplankton chytridiomycosis preferentially impacts the larger size species, blooms of such species (e.g. filamentous cyanobacteria may not totally represent trophic bottlenecks. Besides, chytrid epidemics represent an important driving factor in phytoplankton seasonal successions. In this review, I summarize the knowledge on the diversity, community structure, quantitative importance, and functional roles of fungal chytrids, primarily those who are parasites of phytoplankton, and infer the ecological implications and potentials for the food web dynamics and properties.

  13. The biology and recent history of the critically endangered Kihansi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We conducted field studies from January 2001 to November 2002 in 12 visits, with additional counts through to June 2003. Here we report on the changes ... Due to a reported population crash in late 2003, variously attributed to pesticide use upstream, chytrid fungus, or safari ants (Dorylus sp.), the Kihansi spray toad may ...

  14. Chemotaxis in the Marine Fungus Rhizophydium littoreum

    OpenAIRE

    Muehlstein, Lisa K.; Amon, James P.; Leffler, Deborah L.

    1988-01-01

    Zoospores of the marine chytrid Rhizophydium littoreum are attracted to a variety of substances common to their environment. In general, carbohydrates and polysaccharides elicited strong concentration-dependent positive responses. There was no direct correlation between all substances used as foods and those stimulating positive responses. The chemotactic activities of this organism should, however, tend to bring it toward concentrated food sources.

  15. Herbicides in the environment alter infection dynamics in a microbial host-parasite system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Wyngaert, Silke; Gsell, A.S.; Spaak, P.; Ibelings, B.W.

    2013-01-01

    Parasites play an important role in the regulation of host population growth. How these ubiquitous stressors interact with anthropogenic stressors is less often studied. In a full factorial experiment we explored the independent and combined effects of the widely used herbicide diuron and a chytrid

  16. Fungal parasitism: life cycle, dynamics and impact on cyanobacterial blooms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mélanie Gerphagnon

    Full Text Available Many species of phytoplankton are susceptible to parasitism by fungi from the phylum Chytridiomycota (i.e. chytrids. However, few studies have reported the effects of fungal parasites on filamentous cyanobacterial blooms. To investigate the missing components of bloom ecosystems, we examined an entire field bloom of the cyanobacterium Anabaena macrospora for evidence of chytrid infection in a productive freshwater lake, using a high resolution sampling strategy. A. macrospora was infected by two species of the genus Rhizosiphon which have similar life cycles but differed in their infective regimes depending on the cellular niches offered by their host. R. crassum infected both vegetative cells and akinetes while R. akinetum infected only akinetes. A tentative reconstruction of the developmental stages suggested that the life cycle of R. crassum was completed in about 3 days. The infection affected 6% of total cells (and 4% of akinètes, spread over a maximum of 17% of the filaments of cyanobacteria, in which 60% of the cells could be parasitized. Furthermore, chytrids may reduce the length of filaments of Anabaena macrospora significantly by "mechanistic fragmentation" following infection. All these results suggest that chytrid parasitism is one of the driving factors involved in the decline of a cyanobacteria blooms, by direct mortality of parasitized cells and indirectly by the mechanistic fragmentation, which could weaken the resistance of A. macrospora to grazing.

  17. Alternative states and population crashes in a resource-susceptible-infected model for planktonic parasites and hosts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerla, D.J.; Gsell, A.S.; Kooi, B.W.; Ibelings, B.W.; Donk, van E.; Mooij, W.M.

    2013-01-01

    1. Despite the strong impact parasites can have, only few models of phytoplankton ecology or aquatic food webs have specifically included parasitism. 2. Here, we provide a susceptible-infected model for a diatom-chytrid hostparasite system that explicitly includes nutrients, infected and uninfected

  18. Phylogenomics of zygomycete fungi: impacts on a phylogenetic classification of Kingdom Fungi

    Science.gov (United States)

    The zygomycetous fungi (”zygomycetes”) mark the major transition from zoosporic life histories of the common ancestor of Fungi and the earliest diverging chytrid lineages (Chytridiomycota and Blastocladiomycota). Their ecological and economic importance range from the earliest documented symbionts o...

  19. Bacterial flora on Cascades frogs in the Klamath Mountains of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karen Pope

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians are experiencing global declines due in part to the infectious disease chytridiomycosis. Some symbiotic bacteria residents on frog skin have been shown to inhibit the growth of Batrachochytrium dendrobatitis (Bd) but few studies have attempted to fully describe the resident bacterial flora of frog skin. We cultured and sequenced 130...

  20. The mitochondrial view of Blastocladiella emersonii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tambor, José Humberto M; Ribichich, Karina F; Gomes, Suely L

    2008-11-15

    The mitochondrial genome of the chytrid Blastocladiella emersonii was sequenced and annotated, revealing the complete set of oxidative phosphorylation genes and tRNAs/rRNAs necessary for the translation process. Phylogenetic reconstructions reinforce the proposal of the new phylum Blastocladiomycota. Evidences of gene duplication due to inserted elements suggest shared susceptibility to gene invasion/exchange between chytrids and zygomycetes. The gene content of B. emersonii is very similar to Allomyces macrogynus but the content of intronic and changeable elements is much lower suggesting a stronger resistance to this kind of exchange. In addition, a total of 401 potential nuclear transcripts encoding mitochondrial proteins were obtained after B. emersonii EST database scanning using Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Homo sapiens and Arabidopsis thaliana data as probes and TargetP tool to find N-terminal mitochondrial signal in translated sequences.

  1. 1.13. Species management

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Strict protocols should be followed when carrying out these interventions to minimise potential spread of disease-causing agents such as chytrid fungi and Ranavirus. 1.13.1 Translocate amphibians Based on the collated evidence, what is the current assessment of the effectiveness of translocations? Likely to be beneficial ● Translocate amphibians (amphibians in general)● Translocate amphibians: great crested newts● Translocate amphibians: natterjack toads● Translocate amphibians: salamanders (...

  2. A new chytridiomycete fungus intermixed with crustacean resting eggs in a 407-million-year-old continental freshwater environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strullu-Derrien, Christine; Gora, Tomasz; Longcore, Joyce E.

    2016-01-01

    critical insights into fungal-algal interactions and the earliest continental branchiopod crustaceans. Here we report interactions between an enigmatic organism and an exquisitely preserved fungus. The fungal reproductive structures are intermixed with exceptionally well-preserved globular spiny structures...... to the crustacean Lepidocaris rhyniensis, dating branchiopod adaptation to life in ephemeral pools to the Early Devonian. The new fungal interaction suggests that, as in modern freshwater environments, chytrids were important to the mobilisation of nutrients in early aquatic foodwebs....

  3. Environmental Assessment, Finding of No Significant Impact/Finding of No Practicable Alternative for Replacement of Overhead Electrical Line, Feeders K1 and K7, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-19

    of Overhead 3-13 Electrical Line, Feeders K1 and K7, Vandenberg Air Force Base Chapter 3. Affected Environment syncline; and the San Rafael ...marked California red- legged frogs in Santa Cruz County making overland movements of up to 2 miles over the course of a wet season. These individual...was collected in Calabasas Pond on the Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge in Santa Cruz County (Service 2002a). The chytrid fungus is now

  4. Wing pathology of white-nose syndrome in bats suggests life-threatening disruption of physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cryan, Paul M.; Meteyer, Carol U.; Boyles, Justin G.; Blehert, David S.

    2010-01-01

    White-nose syndrome (WNS) is causing unprecedented declines in several species of North American bats. The characteristic lesions of WNS are caused by the fungus Geomyces destructans, which erodes and replaces the living skin of bats while they hibernate. It is unknown how this infection kills the bats. We review here the unique physiological importance of wings to hibernating bats in relation to the damage caused by G. destructans and propose that mortality is caused by catastrophic disruption of wing-dependent physiological functions. Mechanisms of disease associated with G. destructans seem specific to hibernating bats and are most analogous to disease caused by chytrid fungus in amphibians.

  5. Fungal parasites infect marine diatoms in the upwelling ecosystem of the Humboldt current system off central Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez, Marcelo H; Jara, Ana M; Pantoja, Silvio

    2016-05-01

    This is the first report of fungal parasitism of diatoms in a highly productive coastal upwelling ecosystem, based on a year-round time series of diatom and parasitic Chytridiomycota abundance in the Humboldt Current System off Chile (36°30.80'S-73°07.70'W). Our results show co-variation in the presence of Skeletonema, Thalassiosira and Chaetoceros diatoms with attached and detached chytrid sporangia. High abundance of attached sporangia was observed during the austral spring, coinciding with a predominance of Thalassiosira and Skeletonema under active upwelling conditions. Towards the end of austral spring, a decreasing proportion of attached sporangia was accompanied by a decline in abundance of Skeletonema and Thalassiosira and the predominance of Chaetoceros, suggesting specificity and host density dependence of chytrid infection. The new findings on fungal parasitism of diatoms provide further support for the inclusion of Fungi in the current model of the role played by the marine microbial community in the coastal ocean. We propose a conceptual model where Fungi contribute to controlling the dynamics of phytoplankton populations, as well as the release of organic matter and the transfer of organic carbon through the pelagic trophic web in coastal upwelling ecosystems. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Bacterial and parasitic diseases of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaphake, Eric

    2009-09-01

    Whether in private practice or in a zoologic setting, veterinarians of the exotic animal persuasion are asked to work on amphibians. Veterinarians are able to evaluate amphibians thoroughly for medical issues, with infectious diseases at the forefront. Until quite recently, many infectious diseases were unknown or even misdiagnosed as being caused by opportunistic secondary organisms. Although Batrachochytrium dendrobates and viral diseases are in the forefront of research for amphibians, parasitic and bacterial diseases often present secondarily and, occasionally, even as the primary cause. Full diagnostic workups, when possible, can be critical in determining all the factors involved in morbidity and mortality issues in amphibians.

  7. Special Issue: Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Gregory Chinchar

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Although viruses infecting and affecting humans are the focus of considerable research effort, viruses that target other animal species, including cold-blooded vertebrates, are receiving increased attention. In part this reflects the interests of comparative virologists, but increasingly it is based on the impact that many viruses have on ecologically and commercially important animals. Frogs and other amphibians are sentinels of environmental health and their disappearance following viral or fungal (chytrid infection is a cause for alarm. Likewise, because aquaculture and mariculture are providing an increasingly large percentage of the “seafood” consumed by humans, viral agents that adversely impact the harvest of cultured fish and amphibians are of equal concern. [...

  8. Diversity of eukaryotic microorganisms: computer-based resources, "The Handbook of Protoctista" and its "Glossary"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margulis, L.; Olendzenski, L.; Dolan, M.; MacIntyre, F.

    1996-01-01

    The kingdom Protoctista comprises some 30 phyla, including the eukaryotic anaerobes that permanently lack mitochondria, the Phylum Archaeprotista, with its three classes: (i) Archamoebae, e.g., Pelomyxa, Mastigina, (ii) Metamonada, e.g., Giardia, Pyrsonympha, and (iii) Parabasalia, e.g., Trichomonas, Calonympha, and the Phylum Microspora (Microsporidia), e.g., Vairimorpha. These and all algae, protozoa, labyrinthulids, "water molds" (oomycota, plasmodiophorans, hyphochytrids, chytrids, etc.) and other eukaryotes excluded from plants, animals and fungi are detailed in the Handbook of Protoctista. The Illustrated Glossary of Protoctista contains descriptions of the morphology and taxonomy of these microorganisms, including the many equivalent and homologous structures with different names. The Glossary has also been made into a Macintosh-compatible CD-ROM disk.

  9. Diagnostics of Susabi-nori (Porphyra Yezoensis) by Laser-Induced Fluorescence Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okamoto, Tamotsu; Nakamura, Yuki; Takahashi, Kunio; Kaneko, Shohei; Shimada, Yuji

    Susabi-nori (Porphyra yezoensis) was diagnosed by means of laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) method. Fluorescence peaks located at approximately 580, 660, 685 and 720 nm were observed in the LIF spectra of Susabi-nori. In the spectrum of the sample infected with the red rot disease, the intensity of 580 nm peak was relatively high as compared with that of the control sample. On the other hand, the intensities of 580 nm and 660 nm peaks drastically decreased by the influence of the chytrid disease. Furthermore, the intensity of the 580 nm peak increased by dipping into fresh water. These results indicate that LIF spectra of Susabi-nori are affected by the diseases and the stress of fresh water and that the diseases and the stress of Susabi-nori can be diagnosed by the LIF method.

  10. Molecular diversity and distribution of marine fungi across 130 European environmental samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Thomas A; Leonard, Guy; Mahé, Frédéric; Del Campo, Javier; Romac, Sarah; Jones, Meredith D M; Maguire, Finlay; Dunthorn, Micah; De Vargas, Colomban; Massana, Ramon; Chambouvet, Aurélie

    2015-11-22

    Environmental DNA and culture-based analyses have suggested that fungi are present in low diversity and in low abundance in many marine environments, especially in the upper water column. Here, we use a dual approach involving high-throughput diversity tag sequencing from both DNA and RNA templates and fluorescent cell counts to evaluate the diversity and relative abundance of fungi across marine samples taken from six European near-shore sites. We removed very rare fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) selecting only OTUs recovered from multiple samples for a detailed analysis. This approach identified a set of 71 fungal 'OTU clusters' that account for 66% of all the sequences assigned to the Fungi. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that this diversity includes a significant number of chytrid-like lineages that had not been previously described, indicating that the marine environment encompasses a number of zoosporic fungi that are new to taxonomic inventories. Using the sequence datasets, we identified cases where fungal OTUs were sampled across multiple geographical sites and between different sampling depths. This was especially clear in one relatively abundant and diverse phylogroup tentatively named Novel Chytrid-Like-Clade 1 (NCLC1). For comparison, a subset of the water column samples was also investigated using fluorescent microscopy to examine the abundance of eukaryotes with chitin cell walls. Comparisons of relative abundance of RNA-derived fungal tag sequences and chitin cell-wall counts demonstrate that fungi constitute a low fraction of the eukaryotic community in these water column samples. Taken together, these results demonstrate the phylogenetic position and environmental distribution of 71 lineages, improving our understanding of the diversity and abundance of fungi in marine environments. © 2015 The Authors.

  11. Ex situ diet influences the bacterial community associated with the skin of red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachael E Antwis

    Full Text Available Amphibians support symbiotic bacterial communities on their skin that protect against a range of infectious pathogens, including the amphibian chytrid fungus. The conditions under which amphibians are maintained in captivity (e.g. diet, substrate, enrichment in ex situ conservation programmes may affect the composition of the bacterial community. In addition, ex situ amphibian populations may support different bacterial communities in comparison to in situ populations of the same species. This could have implications for the suitability of populations intended for reintroduction, as well as the success of probiotic bacterial inoculations intended to provide amphibians with a bacterial community that resists invasion by the chytrid fungus. We aimed to investigate the effect of a carotenoid-enriched diet on the culturable bacterial community associated with captive red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas and make comparisons to bacteria isolated from a wild population from the Chiquibul Rainforest in Belize. We successfully showed carotenoid availability influences the overall community composition, species richness and abundance of the bacterial community associated with the skin of captive frogs, with A. callidryas fed a carotenoid-enriched diet supporting a greater species richness and abundance of bacteria than those fed a carotenoid-free diet. Our results suggest that availability of carotenoids in the diet of captive frogs is likely to be beneficial for the bacterial community associated with the skin. We also found wild A. callidryas hosted more than double the number of different bacterial species than captive frogs with very little commonality between species. This suggests frogs in captivity may support a reduced and diverged bacterial community in comparison to wild populations of the same species, which could have particular relevance for ex situ conservation projects.

  12. Ex situ diet influences the bacterial community associated with the skin of red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antwis, Rachael E; Haworth, Rachel L; Engelmoer, Daniel J P; Ogilvy, Victoria; Fidgett, Andrea L; Preziosi, Richard F

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians support symbiotic bacterial communities on their skin that protect against a range of infectious pathogens, including the amphibian chytrid fungus. The conditions under which amphibians are maintained in captivity (e.g. diet, substrate, enrichment) in ex situ conservation programmes may affect the composition of the bacterial community. In addition, ex situ amphibian populations may support different bacterial communities in comparison to in situ populations of the same species. This could have implications for the suitability of populations intended for reintroduction, as well as the success of probiotic bacterial inoculations intended to provide amphibians with a bacterial community that resists invasion by the chytrid fungus. We aimed to investigate the effect of a carotenoid-enriched diet on the culturable bacterial community associated with captive red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas) and make comparisons to bacteria isolated from a wild population from the Chiquibul Rainforest in Belize. We successfully showed carotenoid availability influences the overall community composition, species richness and abundance of the bacterial community associated with the skin of captive frogs, with A. callidryas fed a carotenoid-enriched diet supporting a greater species richness and abundance of bacteria than those fed a carotenoid-free diet. Our results suggest that availability of carotenoids in the diet of captive frogs is likely to be beneficial for the bacterial community associated with the skin. We also found wild A. callidryas hosted more than double the number of different bacterial species than captive frogs with very little commonality between species. This suggests frogs in captivity may support a reduced and diverged bacterial community in comparison to wild populations of the same species, which could have particular relevance for ex situ conservation projects.

  13. Using decision analysis to support proactive management of emerging infectious wildlife diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Muths, Erin L.; Katz, Rachel A.; Canessa, Stefano; Adams, Michael J.; Ballard, Jennifer R.; Berger, Lee; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Coleman, Jeremy; Gray, Matthew J.; Harris, M. Camille; Harris, Reid N.; Hossack, Blake R.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; Kolby, Jonathan E.; Lips, Karen R.; Lovich, Robert E.; McCallum, Hamish I.; Mendelson, Joseph R.; Nanjappa, Priya; Olson, Deanna H.; Powers, Jenny G.; Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Watry, Mary Kay; Woodhams, Douglas C.; White, C. LeAnn

    2017-01-01

    Despite calls for improved responses to emerging infectious diseases in wildlife, management is seldom considered until a disease has been detected in affected populations. Reactive approaches may limit the potential for control and increase total response costs. An alternative, proactive management framework can identify immediate actions that reduce future impacts even before a disease is detected, and plan subsequent actions that are conditional on disease emergence. We identify four main obstacles to developing proactive management strategies for the newly discovered salamander pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). Given that uncertainty is a hallmark of wildlife disease management and that associated decisions are often complicated by multiple competing objectives, we advocate using decision analysis to create and evaluate trade-offs between proactive (pre-emergence) and reactive (post-emergence) management options. Policy makers and natural resource agency personnel can apply principles from decision analysis to improve strategies for countering emerging infectious diseases.

  14. Assessment of listing and categorisation of animal diseases within the framework of the Animal Health Law (Regulation (EU) No 2016/429)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW); More, Simon; Bøtner, Anette

    2017-01-01

    prevention and control rules as in Annex IV, and Article 8 on the list of animal species related to Bsal. The assessment has been performed following a methodology composed of information collection and compilation, expert judgement on each criterion at individual and, if no consensus was reached before......, Bsal can be considered eligible to be listed for Union intervention as laid down in Article 5(3) of the AHL. The disease would comply with the criteria as in sections 4 and 5 of Annex IV of the AHL, for the application of the disease prevention and control rules referred to in points (d) and (e......Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) has been assessed according to the criteria of the Animal Health Law (AHL), in particular criteria of Article 7 on disease profile and impacts, Article 5 on the eligibility of Bsal to be listed, Article 9 for the categorisation of Bsal according to disease...

  15. Preservation of Chytridiomycota in culture collections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleason, Frank H; Mozley-Standridge, Sharon E; Porter, David; Boyle, Donna G; Hyatt, Alex D

    2007-02-01

    Methods for the preservation of fungi in the Chytridiomycota in culture collections are reviewed in this paper. The Chytridiomycota can be preserved with varying degrees of success using a number of different protocols including cryopreservation. The survival of fungi in the Chytridiomycota is sensitive to environmental factors such as lack of moisture, high temperatures, high osmotic potential, and availability of oxygen, all of which must be considered in designing preservation methods. The age of the culture at the initiation of preservation appears to be a particularly important determinant of viability. Recently, commonly used methods for preservation of other groups of fungi have been modified to improve the survival of the Chytridiomycota in culture collections. High rates of survival have been reported after cryopreservation of aerobic and anaerobic chytrids in 10 % glycerol or dimethyl sulphoxide as cryoprotectants. The rates of freezing and thawing must be carefully controlled in the methods for cryopreservation considered in this review. Further research on increasing long-term survival rates and morphological, physiological and genetic stability of Chytridiomycota at low temperatures is necessary.

  16. Key Ecological Roles for Zoosporic True Fungi in Aquatic Habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleason, Frank H; Scholz, Bettina; Jephcott, Thomas G; van Ogtrop, Floris F; Henderson, Linda; Lilje, Osu; Kittelmann, Sandra; Macarthur, Deborah J

    2017-03-01

    The diversity and abundance of zoosporic true fungi have been analyzed recently using fungal sequence libraries and advances in molecular methods, such as high-throughput sequencing. This review focuses on four evolutionary primitive true fungal phyla: the Aphelidea, Chytridiomycota, Neocallimastigomycota, and Rosellida (Cryptomycota), most species of which are not polycentric or mycelial (filamentous), rather they tend to be primarily monocentric (unicellular). Zoosporic fungi appear to be both abundant and diverse in many aquatic habitats around the world, with abundance often exceeding other fungal phyla in these habitats, and numerous novel genetic sequences identified. Zoosporic fungi are able to survive extreme conditions, such as high and extremely low pH; however, more work remains to be done. They appear to have important ecological roles as saprobes in decomposition of particulate organic substrates, pollen, plant litter, and dead animals; as parasites of zooplankton and algae; as parasites of vertebrate animals (such as frogs); and as symbionts in the digestive tracts of mammals. Some chytrids cause economically important diseases of plants and animals. They regulate sizes of phytoplankton populations. Further metagenomics surveys of aquatic ecosystems are expected to enlarge our knowledge of the diversity of true zoosporic fungi. Coupled with studies on their functional ecology, we are moving closer to unraveling the role of zoosporic fungi in carbon cycling and the impact of climate change on zoosporic fungal populations.

  17. Environmental and Host Effects on Skin Bacterial Community Composition in Panamanian Frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varela, Brandon J; Lesbarrères, David; Ibáñez, Roberto; Green, David M

    2018-01-01

    Research on the amphibian skin microbiota has focused on identifying bacterial taxa that deter a pathogenic chytrid fungus, and on describing patterns of microbiota variation. However, it remains unclear how environmental variation affects amphibian skin bacterial communities, and whether the overall functional diversity of the amphibian skin microbiota is associated to such variation. We sampled skin microbial communities from one dendrobatoid frog species across an environmental gradient along the Panama Canal, and from three dendrobatoid frog species before and after the onset of the wet season in one site. We found frog skin microbial alpha diversity to be highest in frogs from sites with low soil pH, but no clear effect of the onset of the wet season. However, we found frog skin microbial community structure to be affected by soil pH and the onset of the wet season, which also resulted in a decrease in between-sample variation. Across the sampled frog species, bacterial functional groups changed with the onset of the wet season, with certain bacterial functional groups entirely disappearing and others differing in their relative abundances. In particular, we found the proportion of Bd-inhibitory bacteria to correlate with mean soil pH, and to increase in two of the frog species with the onset of the wet season. Taken together, our results suggest that structure and predicted function of amphibian bacterial skin communities may be influenced by environmental variables such as pH and precipitation, site effects, and host effects.

  18. Environmental and Host Effects on Skin Bacterial Community Composition in Panamanian Frogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon J. Varela

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Research on the amphibian skin microbiota has focused on identifying bacterial taxa that deter a pathogenic chytrid fungus, and on describing patterns of microbiota variation. However, it remains unclear how environmental variation affects amphibian skin bacterial communities, and whether the overall functional diversity of the amphibian skin microbiota is associated to such variation. We sampled skin microbial communities from one dendrobatoid frog species across an environmental gradient along the Panama Canal, and from three dendrobatoid frog species before and after the onset of the wet season in one site. We found frog skin microbial alpha diversity to be highest in frogs from sites with low soil pH, but no clear effect of the onset of the wet season. However, we found frog skin microbial community structure to be affected by soil pH and the onset of the wet season, which also resulted in a decrease in between-sample variation. Across the sampled frog species, bacterial functional groups changed with the onset of the wet season, with certain bacterial functional groups entirely disappearing and others differing in their relative abundances. In particular, we found the proportion of Bd-inhibitory bacteria to correlate with mean soil pH, and to increase in two of the frog species with the onset of the wet season. Taken together, our results suggest that structure and predicted function of amphibian bacterial skin communities may be influenced by environmental variables such as pH and precipitation, site effects, and host effects.

  19. PCR-Based Assessment of Freshwater Zooplankton Feeding on Edible and "Inedible" Prey In Situ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nejstgaard, J. C.; Belyaeva, M.; Van den Wyngaert, S.; Berger, S. A.; Grossart, H. P.; Kasprzak, P.

    2016-02-01

    Microbiota in pelagic ecosystems can affect zooplankton nutrition in several ways that are not readily assessable in situ, using classical approaches. In contrast to classical food web models identifying phytoplankton as the dominant food source for crustacean zooplankton, recent findings increasingly suggest that zooplankton may derive a significant part of the diet from a wide variety of taxa including ciliates, aquatic fungi, bacteria and small metazoan zooplankton (e.g. rotifers), in both marine and freshwaters. Direct quantification of soft-bodied and non-pigmented prey in zooplankton guts as well as symbionts and parasites on the prey and zooplankton itself has so far been impeded by the lack of appropriate methodology. We aim to establish molecular approaches to quantify these yet-understudied interactions in lake food webs. As a first step we have validated the qPCR detection method in laboratory experiments with cladoceran, calanoid and cyclopoid predators and algal prey species (Cryptomonas sp.). We plan to apply the method to study the dietary contribution of aquatic fungi - chytrids, which are parasites on inedible phytoplankton species, thus aiming to provide insights into the Mycoloop - energy transfer from inedible phytoplankton to zooplankton via fungal parasites. The quantitative PCR method, when validated for key zooplankton species and specific prey or parasite groups, has a potential for a broad range of applications in food web research.

  20. Beet necrotic yellow vein virus accumulates inside resting spores and zoosporangia of its vector Polymyxa betae BNYVV infects P. betae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Payton Mark

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodiophorids and chytrids are zoosporic parasites of algae and land plant and are distributed worldwide. There are 35 species belonging to the order Plasmodiophorales and three species, Polymyxa betae, P. graminis, and Spongospora subterranea, are plant viral vectors. Plasmodiophorid transmitted viruses are positive strand RNA viruses belonging to five genera. Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV and its vector, P. betae, are the causal agents for rhizomania. Results Evidence of BNYVV replication and movement proteins associating with P. betae resting spores was initially obtained using immunofluorescence labeling and well characterized antisera to each of the BNYVV proteins. Root cross sections were further examined using immunogold labeling and electron microscopy. BNYVV proteins translated from each of the four genomic and subgenomic RNAs accumulate inside P. betae resting spores and zoospores. Statistical analysis was used to determine if immunolabelling detected viral proteins in specific subcellular domains and at a level greater than in control samples. Conclusion Virus-like particles were detected in zoosporangia. Association of BNYVV replication and movement proteins with sporangial and sporogenic stages of P. betae suggest that BNYVV resides inside its vector during more than one life cycle stage. These data suggest that P. betae might be a host as well as a vector for BNYVV

  1. Beet necrotic yellow vein virus accumulates inside resting spores and zoosporangia of its vector Polymyxa betae BNYVV infects P. betae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubicz, Jeanmarie Verchot; Rush, Charles M; Payton, Mark; Colberg, Terry

    2007-04-05

    Plasmodiophorids and chytrids are zoosporic parasites of algae and land plant and are distributed worldwide. There are 35 species belonging to the order Plasmodiophorales and three species, Polymyxa betae, P. graminis, and Spongospora subterranea, are plant viral vectors. Plasmodiophorid transmitted viruses are positive strand RNA viruses belonging to five genera. Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV) and its vector, P. betae, are the causal agents for rhizomania. Evidence of BNYVV replication and movement proteins associating with P. betae resting spores was initially obtained using immunofluorescence labeling and well characterized antisera to each of the BNYVV proteins. Root cross sections were further examined using immunogold labeling and electron microscopy. BNYVV proteins translated from each of the four genomic and subgenomic RNAs accumulate inside P. betae resting spores and zoospores. Statistical analysis was used to determine if immunolabelling detected viral proteins in specific subcellular domains and at a level greater than in control samples. Virus-like particles were detected in zoosporangia. Association of BNYVV replication and movement proteins with sporangial and sporogenic stages of P. betae suggest that BNYVV resides inside its vector during more than one life cycle stage. These data suggest that P. betae might be a host as well as a vector for BNYVV.

  2. A New Chytridiomycete Fungus Intermixed with Crustacean Resting Eggs in a 407-Million-Year-Old Continental Freshwater Environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Strullu-Derrien

    Full Text Available The 407-million-year-old Rhynie Chert (Scotland contains the most intact fossilised remains of an early land-based ecosystem including plants, arthropods, fungi and other microorganisms. Although most studies have focused on the terrestrial component, fossilised freshwater environments provide critical insights into fungal-algal interactions and the earliest continental branchiopod crustaceans. Here we report interactions between an enigmatic organism and an exquisitely preserved fungus. The fungal reproductive structures are intermixed with exceptionally well-preserved globular spiny structures interpreted as branchiopod resting eggs. Confocal laser scanning microscopy enabled us to reconstruct the fungus and its possible mode of nutrition, the affinity of the resting eggs, and their spatial associations. The new fungus (Cultoraquaticus trewini gen. et sp. nov is attributed to Chytridiomycota based on its size, consistent formation of papillae, and the presence of an internal rhizoidal system. It is the most pristine fossil Chytridiomycota known, especially in terms of rhizoidal development and closely resembles living species in the Rhizophydiales. The spiny resting eggs are attributed to the crustacean Lepidocaris rhyniensis, dating branchiopod adaptation to life in ephemeral pools to the Early Devonian. The new fungal interaction suggests that, as in modern freshwater environments, chytrids were important to the mobilisation of nutrients in early aquatic foodwebs.

  3. First record of Saprolegnia sp. in an amphibian population in Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Daniel Prada-Salcedo

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Most research related to the decline of amphibians has been focused on the detection of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytriumdendrobatidis. This fungus is the main pathogen detected around the world. However, research has shown the presence of another fungus,Saprolegnia ferax, as a cause of mortality in amphibians in North America. Our study suggests a possible interspecific transmissioncaused by the presence of rainbow trout; thus, amphibian declines may not be attributable only to the presence of a single pathogen, butto other organisms and factors. Materials and methods. Our study revealed the presence of Saprolegnia sp. in the Andean frog Atelopusmittermeieri using the imprinting technique with lactophenol blue staining, which allowed the typical structures of this fungus to beobserved. Results. The importance of this discovery is the presence of two pathogenic fungi, B. dendrobatidis and Saprolegnia, whichaffecting simultaneously a population of amphibians. This finding brings attention to the eventual presence of other microorganismsthat might be involved individually or collectively in the decline of amphibian species. Conclusions. This record suggests a possibletransmission between rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, an introduced species in the highlands of Colombia, which shares thesame habitats with different species of amphibians in the Sanctuary of Flora and Fauna Guanentá in the upper river Fonce in the midCordillera Oriental of Colombia.

  4. Detection of spring viraemia of carp virus in imported amphibians reveals an unanticipated foreign animal disease threat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ip, Hon S.; Lorch, Jeffrey M.; Blehert, David

    2016-01-01

    Global translocation of plants and animals is a well-recognized mechanism for introduction of pathogens into new regions. To mitigate this risk, various tools such as preshipment health certificates, quarantines, screening for specific disease agents and outright bans have been implemented. However, such measures only target known infectious agents and their hosts and may fail to prevent translocation of even well-recognized pathogens if they are carried by novel host species. In a recent example, we screened an imported shipment of Chinese firebelly newts (Cynops orientalis) for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, an emergent fungal pathogen of salamanders. All animals tested negative for the fungus. However, a virus was cultured from internal organs from 7 of the 11 individual dead salamanders and from two pools of tissues from four additional dead animals. Sequencing of a portion of the glycoprotein gene from all viral isolates indicated 100% identity and that they were most closely related to spring viraemia of carp virus (SVCV). Subsequently, SVCV-specific PCR testing indicated the presence of virus in internal organs from each of the four animals previously pooled, and whole-genome sequencing of one of the viral isolates confirmed genomic arrangement characteristic of SVCV. SVCV is a rhabdovirus pathogen of cyprinid fish that is listed as notifiable to the Office International des Epizooties. This discovery reveals a novel route for potential spillover of this economically important pathogen as rhabdovirus has not previously been documented in amphibians.

  5. Review and synthesis of the effects of climate change on amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yiming; Cohen, Jeremy M; Rohr, Jason R

    2013-06-01

    Considerable progress has been made in understanding the responses of amphibians to climate change, with successful research carried out on climate change-associated shifts in amphibian phenology, elevational distributions and amphibian-parasite interactions. We review and synthesize the literature on this topic, emphasizing acutely lethal, sublethal, indirect and positive effects of climate change on amphibians, and major research gaps. For instance, evidence is lacking on poleward shifts in amphibian distributions and on changes in body sizes and morphologies of amphibians in response to climate change. We have limited information on amphibian thermal tolerances, thermal preferences, dehydration breaths, opportunity costs of water conserving behaviors and actual temperature and moisture ranges amphibians experience. Even when much of this information is available, there remains little evidence that climate change is acutely lethal to amphibians. This suggests that if climate change is contributing to declines, it might be through effects that are not acutely lethal, indirect, or both, but evidence in support of this suggestion is necessary. In fact, evidence that climate change is directly contributing to amphibian declines is weak, partly because researchers have not often ruled out alternative hypotheses, such as chytrid fungus or climate-fungus interactions. Consequently, we recommend that amphibian-climate research shift from primarily inductive, correlational approach as to studies that evaluate alternative hypotheses for declines. This additional rigor will require interdisciplinary collaborations, estimates of costs and benefits of climate change to amphibian fitness and populations, and the integration of correlative field studies, experiments on 'model' amphibian species, and mathematical and functional, physiological models. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.

  6. Characterization of Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum, an algal parasite new to the cryptomycota isolated from an outdoor algal pond used for the production of biofuel.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter M Letcher

    Full Text Available Mass culture of algae for the production of biofuels is a developing technology designed to offset the depletion of fossil fuel reserves. However, large scale culture of algae in open ponds can be challenging because of incidences of infestation with algal parasites. Without knowledge of the identity of the specific parasite and how to control these pests, algal-based biofuel production will be limited. We have characterized a eukaryotic parasite of Scenedesmus dimorphus growing in outdoor ponds used for biofuel production. We demonstrated that as the genomic DNA of parasite FD01 increases, the concentration of S. dimorphus cells decreases; consequently, this is a highly destructive pathogen. Techniques for culture of the parasite and host were developed, and the endoparasite was identified as the Aphelidea, Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum. Phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal sequences revealed that parasite FD01 placed within the recently described Cryptomycota, a poorly known phylum based on two species of Rozella and environmental samples. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that aplanospores of the parasite produced filose pseudopodia, which contained fine fibers the diameter of actin microfilaments. Multiple lipid globules clustered and were associated with microbodies, mitochondria and a membrane cisternae, an arrangement characteristic of the microbody-lipid globule complex of chytrid zoospores. After encystment and attachment to the host cells, the parasite injected its protoplast into the host between the host cell wall and plasma membrane. At maturity the unwalled parasite occupied the entire host cell. After cleavage of the protoplast into aplanospores, a vacuole and lipids remained in the host cell. Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum isolate FD01 is characteristic of the original description of this species and is different from strain X-5 recently characterized. Our results help put a face on the Cryptomycota, revealing that the

  7. Current Status and Challenges in Identifying Disease Resistance Genes in Brassica napus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ting Xiang Neik

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Brassica napus is an economically important crop across different continents including temperate and subtropical regions in Europe, Canada, South Asia, China and Australia. Its widespread cultivation also brings setbacks as it plays host to fungal, oomycete and chytrid pathogens that can lead to serious yield loss. For sustainable crop production, identification of resistance (R genes in B. napus has become of critical importance. In this review, we discuss four key pathogens affecting Brassica crops: Clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae, Blackleg (Leptosphaeria maculans and L. biglobosa, Sclerotinia Stem Rot (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, and Downy Mildew (Hyaloperonospora parasitica. We first review current studies covering prevalence of these pathogens on Brassica crops and highlight the R genes and QTL that have been identified from Brassica species against these pathogens. Insights into the relationships between the pathogen and its Brassica host, the unique host resistance mechanisms and how these affect resistance outcomes is also presented. We discuss challenges in identification and deployment of R genes in B. napus in relation to highly specific genetic interactions between host subpopulations and pathogen pathotypes and emphasize the need for common or shared techniques and research materials or tighter collaboration between researchers to reconcile the inconsistencies in the research outcomes. Using current genomics tools, we provide examples of how characterization and cloning of R genes in B. napus can be carried out more effectively. Lastly, we put forward strategies to breed resistant cultivars through introgressions supported by genomic approaches and suggest prospects that can be implemented in the future for a better, pathogen-resistant B. napus.

  8. Morphological and molecular characterization of a new species of leech (Glossiphoniidae, Hirudinida: Implications for the health of its imperiled amphibian host (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William A. Hopkins

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis is among the most intriguing and imperiled amphibians in North America. Since the 1970s and 80s, western populations of the Ozark and eastern subspecies in Missouri have declined by nearly 80%. As a result of population declines, the Ozark hellbender was recently federally protected as an endangered species, and the eastern subspecies was granted protection under CITES. Although habitat degradation is probably the biggest threat to hellbender populations, recent evidence suggests that pathogens including chytrid fungus and “flesh-eating” bacteria may also contribute to declines in Ozark hellbenders. Leeches, which are very common on Ozark hellbenders, have recently been implicated as possible vectors of disease among Ozark hellbenders but have not been described in eastern hellbenders or outside of Missouri and Arkansas. We discovered a population of leeches on eastern hellbenders in southwest Virginia and confirmed that the species of leech is within the genus Placobdella, but is morphologically and genetically distinct from all previously described leech species. We named the new species Placobdella appalachiensis sp. n. Moser and Hopkins, based on the mountainous region in which it was discovered. Our surveys over a three consecutive year period suggested that this leech species may be patchily distributed and/or have a narrow geographic range. We consistently detected leeches at one site (mean prevalence in 80 hellbenders = 27.5%; median intensity = 3.0 leeches per parasitized hellbender [range 1 - >250 leeches] during three years of surveys, but we never found leeches in any of our other seven study sites in two streams (mean prevalence in 139 hellbenders = 0%. We found a significant positive relationship between hellbender body size and the intensity of parasitism, and we suggest the possibility that the behavioral ecology of adults leading up to reproduction may increase their encounter

  9. Current Status and Challenges in Identifying Disease Resistance Genes in Brassica napus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neik, Ting Xiang; Barbetti, Martin J.; Batley, Jacqueline

    2017-01-01

    Brassica napus is an economically important crop across different continents including temperate and subtropical regions in Europe, Canada, South Asia, China and Australia. Its widespread cultivation also brings setbacks as it plays host to fungal, oomycete and chytrid pathogens that can lead to serious yield loss. For sustainable crop production, identification of resistance (R) genes in B. napus has become of critical importance. In this review, we discuss four key pathogens affecting Brassica crops: Clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae), Blackleg (Leptosphaeria maculans and L. biglobosa), Sclerotinia Stem Rot (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum), and Downy Mildew (Hyaloperonospora parasitica). We first review current studies covering prevalence of these pathogens on Brassica crops and highlight the R genes and QTL that have been identified from Brassica species against these pathogens. Insights into the relationships between the pathogen and its Brassica host, the unique host resistance mechanisms and how these affect resistance outcomes is also presented. We discuss challenges in identification and deployment of R genes in B. napus in relation to highly specific genetic interactions between host subpopulations and pathogen pathotypes and emphasize the need for common or shared techniques and research materials or tighter collaboration between researchers to reconcile the inconsistencies in the research outcomes. Using current genomics tools, we provide examples of how characterization and cloning of R genes in B. napus can be carried out more effectively. Lastly, we put forward strategies to breed resistant cultivars through introgressions supported by genomic approaches and suggest prospects that can be implemented in the future for a better, pathogen-resistant B. napus. PMID:29163558

  10. Trouble in the aquatic world: How wildlife professionals are battling amphibian declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Deanna H.; Chestnut, Tara E.

    2014-01-01

    A parasitic fungus, similar to the one that caused the extinction of numerous tropical frog and toad species, is killing salamanders in Europe. Scientists first identified the fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, in 2013 as the culprit behind the death of fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) in the Netherlands (Martel et al. 2013) and are now exploring its potential impact to other species. Although the fungus, which kills the amphibians by infecting their skin, has not yet spread to the United States, researchers believe it’s only a matter of time before it does and, when that happens, the impact on salamander populations could be devastating (Martel et al. 2014).Reports of worldwide declines of amphibians began a quarter of a century ago (Blaustein & Wake 1990). Globally, some amphibian population declines occurred in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and declining trends continued in North America (Houlahan et al. 2000). In the earlier years, population declines were attributed primarily to overharvest due to unregulated supply of species such as the northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) for educational use (Dodd 2013). In later years, however, causes of declines were less evident. In 1989, herpetologists at the First World Congress of Herpetology traded alarming stories of losses across continents and in seemingly protected landscapes, making it clear that amphibian population declines were a “global phenomenon.” In response to these reports, in 1991, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) established the Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force to better understand the scale and scope of global amphibian declines. Unfortunately, the absence of long-term monitoring data and targeted studies made it difficult for the task force to compile information.Today, according to AmphibiaWeb.org, there are 7,342 amphibian species in the world — double the number since the first alerts of declines — making the situation

  11. Factors limiting the recovery of boreal toads (Bufo b. boreas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, C.; Corn, P.S.; Jones, M.S.; Livo, L.J.; Muths, E.; Loeffler, C.W.; Lannoo, M.

    2005-01-01

    Boreal toads (Bufo b. boreas) are widely distributed over much of the mountainous western United States. Populations in the Southern Rocky Mountains suffered extensive declines in the late 1970s through early 1980s (Carey, 1993). At the time, these mass mortalities were thought to be associated with a bacterial infection (Carey, 1993). Although the few populations that survived the mass die-offs were not systematically monitored until at least 1993, no mass mortalities had been observed until 1996 when die-offs were observed. A mycotic skin infection associated with a chytrid fungus is now causing mortality of toads in at least two of the populations (M.S. Jones and D.E. Green, unpublished data; Muths et al., 2003). Boreal toads are now absent throughout large areas of their former distribution in Colorado and southern Wyoming and may be extinct in New Mexico (Corn et al., 1989; Carey, 1993; Stuart and Painter, 1994). These toads are classified as “endangered” by Colorado and New Mexico and are designated as a protected non-game species in Wyoming. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has categorized the Southern Rocky Mountain populations for federal listing and is currently reviewing their designation as a “warranted but precluded” species for possible listing in the next few years. For the management of boreal toads and their habitats, a Boreal Toad Recovery Team was formed by the Colorado Division of Wildlife in 1995 as part of a collaborative effort with federal agencies within the United States’ departments of the Interior and Agriculture and with agencies in two adjoining states. To date, conservation agreements have been signed by eight state and federal agencies and by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. Although boreal toads were considered common throughout their range in Colorado, no comprehensive surveys of the numbers and sizes of their populations were conducted prior to mass die-offs in the 1970s. Surveys completed in the late 1980s to

  12. Phototrophic pigment diversity and picophytoplankton in permafrost thaw lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Przytulska, A.; Comte, J.; Crevecoeur, S.; Lovejoy, C.; Laurion, I.; Vincent, W. F.

    2016-01-01

    lakes also contained high concentrations of bacteriochlorophyll d, showing the presence of green photosynthetic sulphur bacteria. The molecular analyses indicated a relatively minor contribution of diatoms, while chrysophytes, dinoflagellates and chlorophytes were well represented; the heterotrophic eukaryote fraction was dominated by numerous ciliate taxa, and also included Heliozoa, Rhizaria, chytrids and flagellates. Autotrophic picoplankton occurred in biovolume concentrations up to 3.1 × 105 µm3 picocyanobacteria mL-1 and 1.9 × 106 µm3 picoeukaryotes mL-1, with large variations among lakes. Both groups of picophytoplankton were positively correlated with total phytoplankton abundance, as measured by Chl a; picocyanobacteria were inversely correlated with dissolved organic carbon, while picoeukaryotes were inversely correlated with conductivity. Despite their net heterotrophic character, subarctic thaw lakes are rich habitats for diverse phototrophic communities.