Distribution of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and pathology in the skin of green tree frogs Litoria caerulea with severe chytridiomycosis

Berger, Lee, Speare, Rick, and Skerratt, Lee F. (2005) Distribution of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and pathology in the skin of green tree frogs Litoria caerulea with severe chytridiomycosis. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 68 (1). pp. 65-70.

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Abstract

Although histopathology is used routinely for diagnosis of chytridiomycosis in live and dead amphibians, there are no quantitative data on the distribution of the causative fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in the skin. We performed quantitative histological examinations on 6 sites on the body and 4 toes of 10 free-ranging adult green tree frogs Litoria caerulea found recently dead or dying from chytridiomycosis. Large numbers of sporangia occurred in all areas of ventral skin and toes; on average there were 94.3 sporangia mm–1 of superficial epidermis. The number of sporangia was highly variable and this appeared to be related to the stage in the cycle of sloughing. The stratum corneum tends to build up with high intensities of infection and then sheds entirely rather than being shed continuously. Very few or no sporangia occurred on dorsal skin. This distribution could be explained by the dryness of the dorsal skin or possibly by the greater number of serous glands, which produce antifungal peptides, on the dorsum. In some frogs, ulceration and erosions occurred on skin on the back in the absence of sporangia. Other pathological changes such as hyperkeratosis and congestion occurred much more frequently on ventral surfaces.

Item ID: 6199
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: amphibian; Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; distribution; Litoria caerulea; pathology; ulceration
ISSN: 1616-1580
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2010 23:29
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070706 Veterinary Medicine @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 45%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960499 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species not elsewhere classified @ 45%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 10%
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