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Amphibian Pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Is Inhibited by the Cutaneous Bacteria of Amphibian Species

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Population declines of amphibian species in many parts of the world are associated with a lethal fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Using laboratory challenge assays, we describe the inhibition of B. dendrobatidis by members of eight genera of bacteria isolated from the skin of two amphibian species that exhibit parental care behavior (Plethodon cinereus and Hemidactylium scutatum). We found that members of three genera of bacteria isolated from the skins of the salamander P. cinereus and members of seven genera isolated from the salamander H. scutatum inhibited the growth of B. dendrobatidis. Understanding how B. dendrobatidis interacts with an ecological community of cutaneous flora may be important in explaining and preventing amphibian population declines.

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The authors thank Emily André, Jeni Banning, Karen Duncan, William Flint, and Trey Wahl for assistance in the laboratory and field and Ivor Knight and Grace Wyngaard for helpful and stimulating discussions. We thank Joyce Longcore for providing us with isolates of B. dendrobatidis. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (grant 0413981) and the Thomas F. Jeffress and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust.

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Correspondence to Reid N. Harris.

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Harris, R.N., James, T.Y., Lauer, A. et al. Amphibian Pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Is Inhibited by the Cutaneous Bacteria of Amphibian Species. EcoHealth 3, 53–56 (2006).

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