Prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in 120 Archived Specimens of Lithobates catesbeianus (American Bullfrog) Collected in California, 1924–2007
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- Huss, M., Huntley, L., Vredenburg, V. et al. EcoHealth (2013) 10: 339. doi:10.1007/s10393-013-0895-6
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The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been identified as a major cause of the recent worldwide amphibian decline. Numerous species in North America alone are under threat or have succumbed to Bd-driven population extinctions. The American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) has been reported as a tolerant carrier of Bd. In this report, we used a qPCR assay to test 120 archived American bullfrog specimens collected between 1924 and 2007 in California, USA and Baja California, Mexico. The overall prevalence of Bd infection in this archived population of L. catesbeianus was 19.2%. The earliest positive specimen was collected in Sacramento County, California, USA in 1928 and is to date the earliest positive archived Bd specimen reported globally. These data demonstrate that Bd-infected wild amphibians have been present in California longer than previously known.