, 2:307 | Cite as

Evidence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Infection in Water Frogs of the Rana esculenta Complex in Central Italy

  • Francesca Simoncelli
  • Anna Fagotti
  • Raffaele Dall’Olio
  • Daniela Vagnetti
  • Rita Pascolini
  • Ines Di Rosa
Original Contributions


Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (phylum Chytridiomycota, order Chytridiales) is the causative organism of chytridiomycosis in amphibians, a disease associated with their population decline worldwide. In this work, we report a cutaneous infection in water frogs of the Rana esculenta complex in agricultural areas of Umbria, central Italy. Histological, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural, and molecular analyses demonstrated for the first time the presence of the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in this complex; to date, no association between the presence of chytrid fungal infection and mortality has been found, to our knowledge. However, the presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in the water frogs of the Rana esculenta complex is of concern because the frogs could act as a reservoir species and contribute to the decline of less resistant species.

Key words

amphibians Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Rana esculenta agricultural areas 



We thank Dr. A. Hyatt for providing the rabbit 667 antiserum and Dr. S. Bucci and Dr. M. Ragghianti for supplying the molecular marker RrS1. We are also grateful to Dr. R. Paracucchi for excellent technical assistance and to Dr. Nancy Hutchinson for critical reading of the manuscript. The work was supported by a grant from MIUR (Programmi di Ricerca Scientifica di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale) and by Agenzia Regionale Umbra per lo Sviluppo e l’Innovazione in Agricoltura.


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Copyright information

© EcoHealth Journal Consortium 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesca Simoncelli
    • 1
  • Anna Fagotti
    • 1
  • Raffaele Dall’Olio
    • 2
  • Daniela Vagnetti
    • 1
  • Rita Pascolini
    • 1
  • Ines Di Rosa
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia Cellulare e AmbientaleUniversità di PerugiaItaly
  2. 2.Istituto Nazionale di ApicolturaItaly

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