Disease strategy Chytridiomycosis (infection with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis)

Berger, Lee, and Skerratt, Lee F. (2012) Disease strategy Chytridiomycosis (infection with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). Manual. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities, Public Affairs, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

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This disease strategy is for the control and eradication of Chytridiomycosis/Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. It is one action among 68 actions in a national plan to help abate the key threatening process of chytridiomycosis (Australian Government 2006). The action is number 1.1.3: "Prepare a model action plan (written along the lines of AusVetPlan — http://www.aahc.com.au/ausvetplan/) for chytridiomycosis — free populations based on a risk management approach, setting out the steps of a coordinated response if infection with chytridiomycosis is detected. The model action plan will be based on a risk management approach using quantitative risk analysis where possible and will be able to be modified to become area-specific or population-specific. The plan could be implemented in the face of new outbreaks in chytridiomycosis-free areas or in chytridiomycosis-free populations. Individual jurisdictions can modify the model action plan as a preventative strategy or at least have it available as the framework for a response plan if needed. This will help ensure national consistency in responses to any new outbreaks. For threatened species, the action plan should inform relevant species recovery plans. Infrastructure, protocols, responsibilities and funding sources should be identified in this action plan, using the approach used in AusVetPlan. To protect areas that are chytridiomycosis-free, an underlying principle should be that amphibians with chytridiomycosis are not transported into chytridiomycosis-free areas. Actions to reduce transmission into chytridiomycosis-free areas should aim for reduction of risk at source, and prevention of dissemination of B. dendrobatidis at destination."

The national threat abatement plan which addresses five objectives of disease threat abatement: 1. reducing spread, 2. reducing impact, 3. research and monitoring, 4. informing and 5. coordinating is available at http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/chytrid.html). It is currently undergoing a 5 year review. There are a number of recommendations in this disease strategy that could be adopted by this review such as a list of species to which this strategy could apply as well as a list of endangered species that have declined due to chytridiomycosis which would benefit from adopting some aspects of this strategy. Ideally this should be done with the relevant State and Territory environmental agencies and stakeholders (see section 3.4 Funding and compensation arrangements) to ensure adoption of the strategy by amphibian managers.

Disease strategy manuals are response manuals and do not include information about other aspects of controlling disease such as preventing the introduction of disease into Australia.

For example, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) provides quarantine inspection for international passengers, cargo, mail, animals, plants and animal or plant products arriving in Australia, and inspection and certification for a range of agricultural products exported from Australia. Quarantine controls at Australia's borders minimise the risk of entry of exotic pests and diseases, thereby protecting Australia's favourable human, animal and plant health status.

Information on current import conditions can be found at the AQIS ICON website.1 This strategy sets out the disease control principles for use in an emergency incident caused by Chytridiomycosis/Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Australia. Chytridiomycosis was introduced into Australia at least by 1978 and is thought to have caused amphibian declines and extinctions in 1979 (Skerratt et al 2007, 2011b, Murray et al 2010). A disease investigation began in 1993 and the novel disease chytridiomycosis was found to be the cause of widespread amphibian declines and extinctions (Laurance et al 1996, Berger et al 1998). Now the disease is widespread throughout most of its preferred range and there are only a few uninfected populations where chytridiomycosis may have an impact on conservation (Murray et al 2010, 2011a, 2011d).

The trigger for implementing this disease strategy should be uninfected amphibian populations predicted to be at risk of decline from chytridiomycosis. Protocols for surveying populations and predictive tools for risk of decline are available (Skerratt et al 2008, Murray et al 2011a) and have been used to inform use of this disease strategy in some regions (Pauza et al 2010, Skerratt et al 2010a).

In addition, there are several species that have undergone dramatic decline due to chytridiomycosis and survive as a small remnant population of less than a 1000 individuals that have not had an emergency response such as the armoured mist frog, Litoria lorica (Puschendorf et al 2011). These species could benefit from undertaking components of this strategy.

Chytridiomycosis/Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is listed as a notifiable disease in Australia’s National List of Reportable Diseases of Aquatic Animals2 and by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE, formerly Office International des Epizooties) in the Aquatic Animal Health Code.3

This first edition of this manual was prepared by Lee Berger and Lee F. Skerratt, James Cook University. The authors were responsible for drafting the strategy, in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders throughout Australia. However, the policies expressed in this version do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors. The authors would like to thank Rupert Woods, Tiggy Grillo, Alison Oberg, Katrina Daniels, Murray Evans, David Hunter, Renate Velzeboer and Alistair Herfort for their contributions. Contributions made by others not mentioned here are also gratefully acknowledged.

The format of this manual was adapted from similar manuals. The format and content have been kept as similar as possible to these documents, in order to enable animal health professionals trained in emergency animal disease procedures to work efficiently with this document in the event of an emergency.

Item ID: 51095
Item Type: Report (Manual)
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Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2017 04:05
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070704 Veterinary Epidemiology @ 100%
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%
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