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      First evidence of ranavirus in native and invasive amphibians in Colombia

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          Ranaviruses can cause mass mortality events in amphibians, thereby becoming a threat to populations that are already facing dramatic declines. Ranaviruses affect all life stages and persist in multiple amphibian hosts. The detrimental effects of ranavirus infections to amphibian populations have already been observed in the UK and in North America. In Central and South America, the virus has been reported in several countries, but the presence of the genus Ranavirus (Rv) in Colombia is unknown. To help fill this knowledge gap, we surveyed for Rv in 60 species of frogs (including one invasive species) in Colombia. We also tested for co-infection with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in a subset of individuals. For Rv, we sampled 274 vouchered liver tissue samples collected between 2014 and 2019 from 41 localities covering lowlands to mountaintop páramo habitat across the country. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and end-point PCR, we detected Rv in 14 individuals from 8 localities, representing 6 species, including 5 native frogs of the genera Osornophryne, Pristimantis and Leptodactylus, and the invasive American bullfrog Rana catesbeiana. Bd was detected in 7 of 140 individuals, with 1 co-infection of Rv and Bd in an R. catesbeiana specimen collected in 2018. This constitutes the first report of ranavirus in Colombia and should set off alarms about this new emerging threat to amphibian populations in the country. Our findings provide some preliminary clues about how and when Rv may have spread and contribute to understanding how the pathogen is distributed globally.

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          Most cited references46

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          The past two decades have seen an increasing number of virulent infectious diseases in natural populations and managed landscapes. In both animals and plants, an unprecedented number of fungal and fungal-like diseases have recently caused some of the most severe die-offs and extinctions ever witnessed in wild species, and are jeopardizing food security. Human activity is intensifying fungal disease dispersal by modifying natural environments and thus creating new opportunities for evolution. We argue that nascent fungal infections will cause increasing attrition of biodiversity, with wider implications for human and ecosystem health, unless steps are taken to tighten biosecurity worldwide.
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            An inexpensive, automation-friendly protocol for recovering high-quality DNA

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              Amphibian fungal panzootic causes catastrophic and ongoing loss of biodiversity

              Anthropogenic trade and development have broken down dispersal barriers, facilitating the spread of diseases that threaten Earth’s biodiversity. We present a global, quantitative assessment of the amphibian chytridiomycosis panzootic, one of the most impactful examples of disease spread, and demonstrate its role in the decline of at least 501 amphibian species over the past half-century, including 90 presumed extinctions. The effects of chytridiomycosis have been greatest in large-bodied, range-restricted anurans in wet climates in the Americas and Australia. Declines peaked in the 1980s, and only 12% of declined species show signs of recovery, whereas 39% are experiencing ongoing decline. There is risk of further chytridiomycosis outbreaks in new areas. The chytridiomycosis panzootic represents the greatest recorded loss of biodiversity attributable to a disease.

                Author and article information

                Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
                Dis. Aquat. Org.
                Inter-Research Science Center
                February 16 2023
                February 16 2023
                : 153
                : 51-58
                [1 ]Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt, Bogotá, 110321, Colombia
                [2 ]Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, 111711, Colombia
                [3 ]Corporación Autónoma Regional del Centro de Antioquia, Medellín, 050031, Colombia
                [4 ]Área Metropolitana del Valle de Aburrá, Medellín, 050012, Colombia
                [5 ]Universidad CES, Medellín, 050021, Colombia
                [6 ]Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, 111311, Colombia
                [7 ]Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA
                © 2023




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