Short Communication

EcoHealth

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 166-171

Experimental Evidence for American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) Susceptibility to Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis)

  • Stephanie S. GervasiAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, Oregon State University Email author 
  • , Jenny UrbinaAffiliated withEnvironmental Sciences Program, Oregon State University
  • , Jessica HuaAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
  • , Tara ChestnutAffiliated withEnvironmental Sciences Program, Oregon State University
  • , Rick A. RelyeaAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
  • , Andrew R. BlausteinAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, Oregon State UniversityEnvironmental Sciences Program, Oregon State University

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Abstract

The emerging fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been associated with global amphibian population declines and extinctions. American bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) are widely reported to be a tolerant host and a carrier of Bd that spreads the pathogen to less tolerant hosts. Here, we examined whether bullfrogs raised from eggs to metamorphosis in outdoor mesocosms were susceptible to Bd. We experimentally exposed metamorphic juveniles to Bd in the laboratory and compared mortality rates of pathogen-exposed animals to controls (non-exposed) in two separate experiments; one using a Bd strain isolated from a Western toad and another using a strain isolated from an American bullfrog. We wanted to examine whether metamorphic bullfrogs were susceptible to either of these strains. We show that bullfrogs were susceptible to one strain of Bd and not the other. In both experiments, infection load detected in the skin decreased over time, suggesting that metamorphic bullfrogs from some populations may be inefficient long-term carriers of Bd.

Keywords

chytrid tolerance rana boreas resistance vector