Elimination of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis by Archey's frog Leiopelma archeyi

Bishop, Phillip J., Speare, Rick, Poulter, Russell, Butler, Margi, Speare, Benjamin J., Hyatt, Alex, Olsen, Veronica, and Haigh, Amanda (2009) Elimination of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis by Archey's frog Leiopelma archeyi. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 84 (1). pp. 9-15.

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View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/dao02028

Abstract

Archey’s frog Leiopelma archeyi is a critically endangered New Zealand endemic species. The discovery of the emerging infectious disease, chytridiomycosis, in wild populations of this frog raised concern that this disease may drive the species to extinction. Twelve wild-caught Archey’s frogs naturally infected with the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis were monitored in captivity by observing clinical signs, measuring weight gain, and performing repeated PCR tests. Eight frogs were treated with topical chloramphenicol, without PCR results being available, for B. dendrobatidis at the day of entry of the frog into the trial. Eleven of the 12 frogs (92%) cleared their infection within 3 mo of capture, even though they were held at 15°C and in high humidity, conditions that are ideal for the survival and propagation of B. dendrobatidis. B. dendrobatidis in the remaining frog tested positive for the fungus was eliminated after treatment with topical chloramphenicol. None of the 8 frogs exposed to chloramphenicol showed any acute adverse reactions. Archey’s frog appears to have a low level of susceptibility to the clinical effects of chytridiomycosis. Individual frogs can eliminate B. dendrobatidis and Archey’s frog can apparently be treated with topical chloramphenicol with no acute adverse reactions. However, the small number of specimens treated here requires that more extensive testing be done to confirm the safety of chloramphenicol. The significance of the amphibian chytrid fungus for wild populations of Archey’s frog needs to be determined by a longitudinal study in an infected wild population to correlate the presence of B. dendrobatidis in individual frogs. Such a study should occur over a period of at least 3 yr with clinical assessment and monitoring of survival, growth and body condition parameters.

Item ID: 10799
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Chytridiomycosis; Archey's frog; Leiopelma Archeyi; Batrachochyrium Dendrobatidis; self cure
ISSN: 1616-1580
Date Deposited: 17 May 2010 03:49
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070704 Veterinary Epidemiology @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070707 Veterinary Microbiology (excl Virology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960406 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 25
Downloads: Total: 2
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