Survey of Pathogenic Chytrid Fungi (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans) in Salamanders from Three Mountain Ranges in Europe and the Americas
- 666 Downloads
Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is a virulent fungal pathogen that infects salamanders. It is implicated in the recent collapse of several populations of fire salamanders in Europe. This pathogen seems much like that of its sister species, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the agent responsible for anuran extinctions and extirpations worldwide, and is considered to be an emerging global threat to salamander communities. Bsal thrives at temperatures found in many mountainous regions rich in salamander species; because of this, we have screened specimens of salamanders representing 17 species inhabiting mountain ranges in three continents: The Smoky Mountains, the Swiss Alps, and the Peruvian Andes. We screened 509 salamanders, with 192 representing New World salamanders that were never tested for Bsal previously. Bsal was not detected, and Bd was mostly present at low prevalence except for one site in the Andes.
KeywordsAlps Amphibians Andes Appalachia Conservation Caudata Plethodontidae Salamandridae Wildlife disease
We thank the SIU Herpetologist Enthusiasts of Southern Illinois student organization for field assistance.
Funding was provided by the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, IDNR/US Fish and Wildlife Service, Rufford Small Grants Foundation, Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, Amazon Conservation Association, and SIU start-up funds to AC.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable institutional and/or national guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Also, additional informed consent was obtained from all individual participants for whom identifying information is included in this article.
- AmphibiaWeb (2016). Information on amphibian biology and conservation. www.amphibiaweb.org. Accessed 15 Jan 2016
- Blackburn M, Wayland J, Smith WH, McKenna JH, Harry M, Hamed MK, et al. (2015). First report of Ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in green salamanders (Aneides aeneus) from Virginia, USA. Herpetological Review 46:357–361Google Scholar
- Blooi M, Pasmans F, Longcore JE, Spitzen-van der Sluijs A, Vercammen F, Martel A (2016). Duplex real-time PCR for rapid simultaneous detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in amphibian samples. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 51:4173–4177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gerson H (2012). International trade in amphibians: a customs perspective. Alytes (Paris) 29:103–115Google Scholar
- Grant EHC, Muths EL, Katz RA, Canessa S, Adams MJ, Ballard JR, et al. (2015). Salamander chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans) in the United States—Developing research, monitoring, and management strategies. U.S. Geological Survey Report 2015-1233, RestonGoogle Scholar
- Hamed MK, Gray MJ, Miller DL (2013). First Report of Ranavirus in Plethodontid Salamanders from the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, Virginia, USA. Herpetological Review 44:455–457Google Scholar
- James TY, Toledo LF, Rodder D, da Silva Leite D, Belasen AM, Betancourt-Roman CM, et al. (2015). Disentangling host, pathogen, and environmental determinants of a recently emerged wildlife disease: lessons from the first 15 years of amphibian chytridiomycosis research. Ecology and Evolution 5:4079–4097CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Lotters S, Kielgast J, Sztatecsny M, Wagner N, Schulte U, Werner P, et al. (2012). Absence of infection with the amphibian chytrid fungus in the terrestrial alpine salamander, Salamandra atra. Salamandra 48:58–62Google Scholar
- Moffitt D, Williams LA, Hastings A, Pugh MW, Gangloff MM, Siefferman L (2015). Low prevelance of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 10:123–136Google Scholar
- Schmidt BR (2016). Switzerland bans the importation of all salamander species because of the salamander chytrid. FrogLog 24:13Google Scholar
- Spitzen-van der Sluijs A, Spikmans F, Bosman W, de Zeeuw M, van der Meij T, Goverse E, et al. (2013). Rapid enigmatic decline drives the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) to the edge of extinction in the Netherlands. Amphibia-Reptilia 34:233–239Google Scholar
- Williams LA, Groves JD (2014). Prevalence of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis in eastern hellbenders (Cryptobranchus A-Alleganiensis) in western North Carolina, USA. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 9:454–467Google Scholar