Experimental exposures of boreal toads (Bufo boreas) to a pathogenic Chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis)

Carey, Cynthia, Bruzgul, Judsen E., Livo, Lauren J., Walling, Margie L., Kuehl, Kristin A., Dixon, Brenner F., Pessier, Allan P., Alford, Ross A., and Rogers, Kevin B. (2006) Experimental exposures of boreal toads (Bufo boreas) to a pathogenic Chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). EcoHealth, 3. pp. 5-21.

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One of the major causes of worldwide amphibian declines is a skin infection caused by a pathogenic chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). This study documents the interactions between this pathogen and a susceptible amphibian host, the boreal toad (Bufo boreas). The amount of time following exposure until death is influenced by the dosage of infectious zoospores, duration of exposure, and body size of the toad. The significant relation between dosage and the number of days survived (dose-response curve) supports the hypothesis that the degree of infection must reach a particular threshold of about 107–108 zoosporangia before death results. Variation in air temperature between 12°C and 23°C had no significant effect on survival time. The infection can be transmitted from infected to healthy animals by contact with water containing zoospores; no physical contact between animals is required. These results are correlated with observations on the population biology of boreal toads in which mortalities associated with B. dendrobatidis have been identified.

Item ID: 4185
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1612-9210
Keywords: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, amphibian pathogen, Bufo boreas, chytrid fungus, chytridiomycosis
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2009 03:02
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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