First Record of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Infecting Four Frog Families from Peninsular Malaysia

Abstract

The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) infects amphibians on every continent where they occur and is linked to the decline of over 200 amphibian species worldwide. At present, only three published Bd surveys exist for mainland Asia, and Bd has been detected in South Korea alone. In this article, we report the first survey for Bd in Peninsular Malaysia. We swabbed 127 individuals from the six amphibian families that occur on Peninsular Malaysia, including two orders, 27 genera, and 47 species. We detected Bd on 10 out of 127 individuals from four of five states and five of 11 localities, placing the 95% confidence interval for overall prevalence at 4–14%. We detected no variation in Bd prevalence among regions, elevations, or taxonomic groups. The infection intensity ranged from 1 to 157,000 genome equivalents. The presence of Bd infections in native species without clinical signs of disease suggests that Bd may be endemic to the region. Alternately, Bd may have been introduced from non-native amphibians because of the substantial amphibian food trade in Peninsular Malaysia. Under both scenarios, management efforts should be implemented to limit the spread of non-native Bd and protect the tremendous amphibian diversity in Peninsular Malaysia.

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Acknowledgments

A research pass (40/200/19 SJ.1105) was issued to LLG by the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department. This research was supported partially by a grant from the College of Arts and Sciences, La Sierra University to L.L.G., a USM Grant to S.A., and a travel grant to A.E.S. from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

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Correspondence to Anna E. Savage.

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Savage, A.E., Grismer, L.L., Anuar, S. et al. First Record of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Infecting Four Frog Families from Peninsular Malaysia. EcoHealth 8, 121–128 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-011-0685-y

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Keywords

  • chytridiomycosis
  • Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
  • amphibian pathogen
  • Peninsular Malaysia