Mitigating the impact of diseases affecting biodiversity - retrospective on the outbreak investigation for Chytridiomycosis

Skerratt, Lee, Speare, Richard, and Berger, Lee (2011) Mitigating the impact of diseases affecting biodiversity - retrospective on the outbreak investigation for Chytridiomycosis. EcoHealth, 7 (Supplement 1). p. 26.

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The worst disease affecting vertebrate biodiversity in recorded history is chytridiomycosis. It is thought to have caused the severe decline of up to 200 species of amphibians globally with many of these now believed to be extinct. This provides a unique opportunity to develop methods that will help mitigate the impact that diseases have on biodiversity. An important component of mitigation is conducting an outbreak investigation. We retrospectively examined the outbreak investigation conducted on chytridiomycosis to highlight the reasons for success as well as opportunities for improvement. The investigation did not progress until a 'One Health' approach was adopted approximately 14 years after the initial outbreak. This then led to analysis of the outbreak data by an epidemiologist and a tentative diagnosis of a novel pathogen spreading into naive amphibian populations. The lack of belief that disease could cause population decline by wildlife biologists was one reason for this delay. Initial resourcing of the spreading pathogen hypothesis was inadequate requiring a PhD student to be recruited to undertake the investigation as the only possible option which meant progress was slow. There was also little expertise or baseline data to inform the investigation. Another key gap was not being able to readily adapt the outbreak investigation to new information. Establishing formal networks, baseline knowledge and capacity in the wildlife health sector and providing a framework and resources for end users to engage experts to respond to outbreaks in real time are needed.

Item ID: 20666
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1612-9210
Additional Information:

1st International One Health Congress Abstracts. Plenary Abstracts

Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2012 02:17
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070704 Veterinary Epidemiology @ 80%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050103 Invasive Species Ecology @ 20%
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 @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
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