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      Chytridiomycosis causes amphibian mortality associated with population declines in the rain forests of Australia and Central America.

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          Abstract

          Epidermal changes caused by a chytridiomycete fungus (Chytridiomycota; Chytridiales) were found in sick and dead adult anurans collected from montane rain forests in Queensland (Australia) and Panama during mass mortality events associated with significant population declines. We also have found this new disease associated with morbidity and mortality in wild and captive anurans from additional locations in Australia and Central America. This is the first report of parasitism of a vertebrate by a member of the phylum Chytridiomycota. Experimental data support the conclusion that cutaneous chytridiomycosis is a fatal disease of anurans, and we hypothesize that it is the proximate cause of these recent amphibian declines.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
          Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
          0027-8424
          0027-8424
          Jul 21 1998
          : 95
          : 15
          Affiliations
          [1 ] School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia. Lee.Berger@dah.csiro.au
          Article
          21197
          9671799

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