Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Infection in the Recently Rediscovered Atelopus mucubajiensis (Anura, Bufonidae), a Critically Endangered Frog from the Venezuelan Andes
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- Lampo, M., Barrio-Amorós, C. & Han, B. EcoHealth (2006) 3: 299. doi:10.1007/s10393-006-0068-y
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The harlequin frog, Atelopus mucubajiensis, is a critically endangered species that was believed to be extinct until 2004, when a single adult female was found in the Venezuelan Andes. Its disappearance after 1994 has been attributed to an increase in the prevalence of the fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in populations of these frogs. Using histology and Real-Time PCR assays, we tested this adult female positive for B. dendrobatidis. We report for the first time, to our knowledge, infection in a live specimen of A. mucubajiensis. The presence of this pathogen in remaining individuals poses a problem for the long-term persistence of this critically endangered species, as new epidemic episodes of chytridiomycosis could jeopardize the survival of remnant populations.