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Non-lethal isolation of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) from amphibiansAuthor(s): KJ Cook; J Voyles; HV Kenny; KL Pope; J. Piovia-Scott
Source: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. 129(2): 159-164
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
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DescriptionThe ability to isolate and purify pathogens is important for the study of infectious disease. A protocol for isolating Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a lethal pathogen of amphibians, has been available for over a decade, but the method relies on sacrificing infected animals. We validated a non-lethal protocol for Bd isolation that uses biopsy punches from toe webbing to collect skin samples from live amphibians in remote field locations. We successfully isolated Bd from the Cascades frog Rana cascadae and found a positive association between Bd infection and probability of Bd growth in culture. Recapture rates of sampled animals suggest that our isolation protocol did not affect frog survival. The ability to collect isolates from live animals will facilitate investigations of the biology of Bd and enhance amphibian conservation efforts.
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CitationCook, K.J.; Voyles, J.; Kenny, H.V.; Pope, K.L.; Piovia-Scott, J. 2018. Non-lethal isolation of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) from amphibians. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. 129(2): 159-164. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03238.
KeywordsAmphibian declines, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Chytridiomycosis, Pathogen isolation, Biopsy
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