EcoHealth

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 116–120 | Cite as

High Prevalence of the Amphibian Chytrid Pathogen in Gabon

  • Rayna C. Bell
  • Adriana V. Gata Garcia
  • Bryan L. Stuart
  • Kelly R. Zamudio
Short Communication

Abstract

Amphibian chytridiomycosis is an infectious disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) that is implicated in the worldwide decline and extinction of amphibians. Africa has been proposed as a potential source for the global expansion of Bd, yet the distribution of Bd across the continent remains largely unexplored. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), we screened for the presence of Bd in 166 adult anurans from two national parks in Gabon (Monts de Cristal and Ivindo). Bd was detected in 20 of the 42 species and was present at all three sites surveyed (two in Monts de Cristal, and one in Ivindo) with high prevalence (19.6%–36.0%). Both national parks were Bd-positive at all elevations and across habitat types, though no dead or dying frogs were encountered. To our knowledge, this study presents the first evidence of Bd in Gabon and the first record of infection for 19 of the 20 species that were Bd-positive. Documenting the distribution and virulence of Bd across Africa will be essential for understanding the dynamics of amphibian chytridiomycosis across the globe.

Keywords

amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis chytridiomycosis Gabon 

Supplementary material

10393_2010_364_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (64 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 63 kb)

References

  1. Berger L, Speare R, Skerratt L (2005) Distribution of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and pathology in the skin of green tree frogs (Litoria caerulea) with severe chytridiomycosis. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 68:65–70.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boyle DG, Boyle DB, Olsen V, Morgan JAT, Hyatt AD (2004) Rapid quantitative detection of chytridiomycosis (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in amphibian samples using realtime Taqman PCR assay. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 60:141–148.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Doherty-Bone TM, Bielby J, Gonwouo NL, LeBreton M, Cunningham AA (2008) In a vulnerable position? Preliminary work fails to detect the amphibian chytrid pathogen in the highlands of Cameroon, an amphibian hotspot. Herpetological Journal 18:115–118.Google Scholar
  4. Goldberg TL, Readel AM, Lee MH (2007) Chytrid fungus in frogs from an equatorial African montane forest in western Uganda. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 43:521–524.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Greenbaum E, Kusamba C, Aristote MM, Reed K (2008) Amphibian chytrid fungus infections in Hyperolius (Anura: Hyperoliidae) from Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Herpetological Review 39:70–73.Google Scholar
  6. Hopkins S, Channing A (2003) Chytrid fungus in Northern and Southern Cape frog populations, South Africa. Herpetological Review 34:334–336.Google Scholar
  7. Hyatt AD, Boyle DG, Olsen V, Boyle DB, Berger L, Obendorf D, et al. (2007) Diagnostic assays and sampling protocols for the detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 73:175–192.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Imasuen AA, Weldon C, Aisien MSO, Dupreez LH (2009) Amphibian chytridiomycosis: first report in Nigeria from the skin slough of Chiromantis rufescens. Froglog 90:6–8.Google Scholar
  9. Kielgast J, Rödder D, Veith M, Lötters S (2009) Widespread occurrence of the amphibian chytrid fungus in Kenya. Animal Conservation 13:1–8.Google Scholar
  10. Lips KR, Brem F, Brenes B, Reeve JD, Alford RA, Voyles J, et al. (2006) Emerging infectious disease and the loss of biodiversity in a neotropical amphibian community. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103:3165–3170.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lötters S, Rödel MO, Burger M (2005) A new large tree frog from north-western Gabon (Hyperoliidae:Leptopelis). Herpetological Journal 15:149–152.Google Scholar
  12. Pauwels OSG, Rödel MO (2007) Amphibians and National Parks in Gabon, western Central Africa. Herpetozoa 19:135–148.Google Scholar
  13. Soto-Azat C, Clarke BT, Poynton JC, Cunningham AA (2010) Widespread historical presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in African pipid frogs. Diversity and Distributions 16:126–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Weldon C, du Preez LH, Hyatt AD, Muller R, Speare R (2004) Origin of the amphibian chytrid fungus. Emerging Infectious Diseases 10:2100–2105.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© International Association for Ecology and Health 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rayna C. Bell
    • 1
  • Adriana V. Gata Garcia
    • 1
  • Bryan L. Stuart
    • 2
  • Kelly R. Zamudio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.North Carolina Museum of Natural SciencesRaleighUSA

Personalised recommendations