Origin of the amphibian chytrid fungus

Weldon, Ché, du Preez, Louis H., Hyatt, Alex D., Muller, Reinhold, and Speare, Rick (2004) Origin of the amphibian chytrid fungus. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 10 (12). pp. 2100-2105.

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Abstract

The sudden appearance of chytridiomycosis, the cause of amphibian deaths and population declines in several continents, suggests that its etiologic agent, the amphibian chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, was introduced into the affected regions. However, the origin of this virulent pathogen is unknown. A survey was conducted of 697 archived specimens of 3 species of Xenopus collected from 1879 to 1999 in southern Africa in which the histologic features of the interdigital webbing were analyzed. The earliest case of chytridiomycosis found was in a Xenopus laevis frog in 1938, and overall prevalence was 2.7%. The prevalence showed no significant differences between species, regions, season, or time period. Chytridiomycosis was a stable endemic infection in southern Africa for 23 years before any positive specimen was found outside Africa. We propose that Africa is the origin of the amphibian chytrid and that the international trade in X. laevis that began in the mid-1930s was the means of dissemination.

Item ID: 6265
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1080-6059
Keywords: amphibians; Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; chytridiomycosis; emerging infectious disease; origin
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Emerging Infectious Diseases is published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a U.S. Government agency. Therefore, all materials published in Emerging Infectious Diseases are in the public domain and can be used without permission.

Weldon C, du Preez LH, Hyatt AD, Muller R, and Speare R (2004) Origin of the amphibian chytrid fungus. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 10 (12). pp. 2100-2105.

Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2010 23:26
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060505 Mycology @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060208 Terrestrial Ecology @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960499 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species not elsewhere classified @ 51%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 49%
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