Survey protocol for detecting chytridiomycosis in all Australian frog populations

Skerratt, Lee F., Berger, Lee, Hines, Harry B., McDonald, Keith R., Mendez, Diana, and Speare, Richard (2008) Survey protocol for detecting chytridiomycosis in all Australian frog populations. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 80 (2). pp. 85-94.

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Abstract

Spread of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused the decline and extinction of frogs, but the distribution of Bd is not completely known. This information is crucial to implementing appropriate quarantine strategies, preparing for outbreaks of chytridiomycosis due to introduction of Bd, and for directing conservation actions towards affected species. This survey protocol provides a simple and standard method for sampling all frog populations in Australia to maximise the chances of detecting Bd. In order to structure and prioritise the protocol, areas are divided by bioregion and frog species are allocated depending on the water bodies they utilize into 3 groups representing different levels of risk of exposure to Bd. Sixty individuals per population need to be tested to achieve 95% certainty of detecting 1 positive frog, based on the minimum apparent prevalence of ≥5% in infected Australian frog populations and using a quantitative real-time TaqMan PCR test. The appropriate season to sample varies among bioregions and will ideally incorporate temperatures favourable for chytridiomycosis (e.g. maximum air temperatures generally <27°C). Opportunistic collection and testing of sick frogs and tadpoles with abnormal mouthparts should also be done to increase the probability of detecting Bd. The survey priorities in order are (1) threatened species that may have been exposed to Bd, (2) bioregions surrounding infected bioregions/ecological groups, and (3) species of frogs of unknown infection status in infected bioregions. Within these priority groups, sampling should first target ecological groups and species likely to be exposed to Bd, such as those associated with permanent water, and areas within bioregions that have high risk for Bd as indicated by climatic modelling. This protocol can be adapted for use in other countries and a standard protocol will enable comparison among amphibian populations globally.

Item ID: 6214
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; mapping; chytrid fungus; disease control; decline; amphibian
ISSN: 1616-1580
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2010 00:23
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 > 960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 29
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