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      The invasive chytrid fungus of amphibians paralyzes lymphocyte responses.

      Science (New York, N.Y.)

      Xenopus laevis, pathogenicity, Spores, Fungal, veterinary, immunology, Mycoses, microbiology, drug effects, Lymphocytes, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Chytridiomycota, Cell Proliferation, Apoptosis, Animals, Amphibians, pharmacology, Aminoglycosides

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          Abstract

          The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, causes chytridiomycosis and is a major contributor to global amphibian declines. Although amphibians have robust immune defenses, clearance of this pathogen is impaired. Because inhibition of host immunity is a common survival strategy of pathogenic fungi, we hypothesized that B. dendrobatidis evades clearance by inhibiting immune functions. We found that B. dendrobatidis cells and supernatants impaired lymphocyte proliferation and induced apoptosis; however, fungal recognition and phagocytosis by macrophages and neutrophils was not impaired. Fungal inhibitory factors were resistant to heat, acid, and protease. Their production was absent in zoospores and reduced by nikkomycin Z, suggesting that they may be components of the cell wall. Evasion of host immunity may explain why this pathogen has devastated amphibian populations worldwide.

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          Most cited references 46

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

          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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            Spread of Chytridiomycosis Has Caused the Rapid Global Decline and Extinction of Frogs

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              A novel assay for apoptosis Flow cytometric detection of phosphatidylserine expression on early apoptotic cells using fluorescein labelled Annexin V

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                24136969
                3956111
                10.1126/science.1243316

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