The amphibian fungal disease chytridiomycosis is considered one of the greatest threats to biodiversity. This lethal skin disease is caused by chytridiomycete fungi belonging to the genus Batrachochytrium. Although sudden amphibian population declines had occurred since the 1970s in the Americas and Australia, mass mortalities were not observed until the 1990s. The fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) was identified as the cause of these declines. It is estimated that Bd has caused the rapid decline or extinction of at least 200 amphibian species, which is probably an underestimation due to the cryptic behaviour of many amphibians such as many salamanders and also the lack of monitoring. A second chytrid species, B. salamandrivorans (Bsal), has recently emerged and caused mass mortality in salamanders in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, affecting most salamander and newt taxa in the amphibian community and is considered a major threat to the western Palearctic amphibian biodiversity. In this chapter we review the epidemiology, host pathogen interactions and mitigation strategies of both chytrid pathogens.


Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis B. salamandrivorans Chytridiomycota Chytridiomycosis Batracians Outbreak 



LB was supported by the Australian Research Council (grant FT100100375).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian DiseasesGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, School of Public HealthImperial College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Griffith University, Environmental Futures Research Institute, School of EnvironmentBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.One Health Research Group, College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary SciencesJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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