Article

Distribution and Pathogenicity of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Boreal Toads from the Grand Teton Area of Western Wyoming

Department of Biological Sciences, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 83209-8007, USA.
EcoHealth (Impact Factor: 2.27). 06/2009; 6(1):109-20. DOI: 10.1007/s10393-009-0230-4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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, 10(6) 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.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Charles Russell Peterson, Feb 15, 2014
0 Followers
 · 
84 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Population declines and extinctions of numerous species of amphibians, especially stream-breeding frogs, have been linked to the emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. In Central America, most of the 34 species of the Craugastor punctariolus species group have disappeared in recent years in high- and low-elevation rainforests. Distribution models for B. dendrobatidis and the continuous presence of the extirpated stream-dwelling species, Craugastor ranoides, in the driest site of Costa Rica (Santa Elena Peninsula), suggest that environmental conditions might restrict the growth and development of B. dendrobatidis, existing as a refuge from chytridiomycosis-driven extinction. We conducted field surveys to detect and quantify the pathogen using Real-time PCR in samples from 15 species of frogs in two locations of tropical dry forest. In Santa Elena Peninsula, we swabbed 310 frogs, and only one sample of the species, C. ranoides, tested positive for B. dendrobatidis (prevalence <0.1%). In Santa Rosa Station, we swabbed 100 frogs, and nine samples from three species tested positive (prevalence = 9.0%). We failed to detect signs of chytridiomycosis in any of the 410 sampled frogs, and low quantities of genetic equivalents (between 0 and 1073) were obtained from the ten positive samples. The difference in the prevalence between locations might be due not only to the hotter and drier conditions of Santa Elena Peninsula but also to the different compositions of species in both locations. Our results suggest that B. dendrobatidis is at the edge of its distribution in these dry and hot environments of tropical dry forest. This study supports the existence of climatic refuges from chytridiomycosis and highlights the importance of tropical dry forest conservation for amphibians in the face of epidemic disease.
    EcoHealth 09/2014; 11(4). DOI:10.1007/s10393-014-0967-2 · 2.27 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Animal Conservation 12/2010; 13(s1). DOI:10.1111/j.1469-1795.2010.00410.x · 2.52 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chytridiomycosis, which is caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians. The disease is one of the main causes of the global decline in amphibians. The aetiological agent is ubiquitous, with worldwide distribution, and affects a large number of amphibian species in several biomes. In the last decade, scientific research has substantially increased knowledge of the aetiological agent and the associated infection. However, important epidemiological aspects of the environment-mediated interactions between the aetiological agent and the host are not yet clear. The objective of the present review is to describe chytridiomycosis with regard to the major features of the aetiological agent, the host and the environment.
    Revue scientifique et technique (International Office of Epizootics) 12/2013; 32(3):857-67. · 0.69 Impact Factor