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      Climate structuring of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in the threatened amphibians of the northern Western Ghats, India

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          Abstract

          Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd) is a pathogen killing amphibians worldwide. Its impact across much of Asia is poorly characterized. This study systematically surveyed amphibians for Bd across rocky plateaus in the northern section of the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, India, including the first surveys of the plateaus in the coastal region. These ecosystems offer an epidemiological model system since they are characterized by differing levels of connectivity, edaphic and climatic conditions, and anthropogenic stressors. One hundred and eighteen individuals of 21 species of Anura and Apoda on 13 plateaus ranging from 67 to 1179 m above sea level and 15.89 to 17.92° North latitude were sampled. Using qPCR protocols, 79% of species and 27% of individuals tested were positive for Bd. This is the first record of Bd in caecilians in India, the Critically Endangered Xanthophryne tigerina and Endangered Fejervarya cf. sahyadris. Mean site prevalence was 28.15%. Prevalence below the escarpment was 31.2% and 25.4% above. The intensity of infection (GE) showed the reverse pattern. Infection may be related to elevational temperature changes, thermal exclusion, inter-site connectivity and anthropogenic disturbance. Coastal plateaus may be thermal refuges from Bd. Infected amphibians represented a wide range of ecological traits posing interesting questions about transmission routes.

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          Most cited references 66

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          Emerging infectious disease and the loss of biodiversity in a Neotropical amphibian community.

           K R Lips,  F Brem,  R Brenes (2006)
          Pathogens rarely cause extinctions of host species, and there are few examples of a pathogen changing species richness and diversity of an ecological community by causing local extinctions across a wide range of species. We report the link between the rapid appearance of a pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in an amphibian community at El Copé, Panama, and subsequent mass mortality and loss of amphibian biodiversity across eight families of frogs and salamanders. We describe an outbreak of chytridiomycosis in Panama and argue that this infectious disease has played an important role in amphibian population declines. The high virulence and large number of potential hosts of this emerging infectious disease threaten global amphibian diversity.
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            Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis gen. et sp. nov., a Chytrid Pathogenic to Amphibians

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              Global emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and amphibian chytridiomycosis in space, time, and host.

              Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a chytrid fungus that causes chytridiomycosis in amphibians. Only named in 1999, Bd is a proximate driver of declines in global amphibian biodiversity. The pathogen infects over 350 species of amphibians and is found on all continents except Antarctica. However, the processes that have led to the global distribution of Bd and the occurrence of chytridiomycosis remain unclear. This review explores the molecular, epidemiological, and ecological evidence that Bd evolved from an endemic ancestral lineage to achieve global prominence via anthropogenically mediated spread. We then consider the major host and pathogen factors that have led to the occurrence of chytridiomycosis in amphibian species, populations, and communities.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                R Soc Open Sci
                R Soc Open Sci
                RSOS
                royopensci
                Royal Society Open Science
                The Royal Society Publishing
                2054-5703
                June 2018
                13 June 2018
                13 June 2018
                : 5
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Research Group, School of Biological and Marine Sciences, University of Plymouth , Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA, UK
                [2 ]Westfield , 4 Worgret Road, Wareham, Dorset BH20 4PJ, UK
                [3 ]Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London , London W2 1PG, UK
                [4 ]Department of Biological Sciences, George Washington University , 2121 I St NW, Washington, DC 20052, USA
                [5 ]Tata Institute of Social Sciences , Apsinga Road, PO Box No. 09, Tuljapur 413 601, District-Osmanabad, Maharashtra, India
                Author notes
                Authors for correspondence: Christopher J. Thorpe e-mail: christopher.thorpe@ 123456plymouth.ac.uk
                Authors for correspondence: Todd R. Lewis e-mail: ecolewis@ 123456gmail.com

                Electronic supplementary material is available online at https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4114046.

                Article
                rsos180211
                10.1098/rsos.180211
                6030269
                © 2018 The Authors.

                Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: Zoological Society of London, http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100009470;
                Award ID: Erasmus Darwin Barlow Expedition Fund. To CJT
                Funded by: Leverhulme Trust, http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000275;
                Award ID: RPG-2014-273 To MF
                Funded by: Royal Geographical Society;
                Award ID: Geographical Fieldwork Grant 2013. To CJT
                Award ID: Geographical Fieldwork Grant 2014. To CJT
                Award ID: Monica Cole Award 2012. To CJT
                Funded by: Percy Sladen Memorial Trust.;
                Award ID: To TL
                Categories
                1001
                60
                1004
                20
                69
                Biology (Whole Organism)
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                June, 2018

                western ghats, chytrid, amphibians, caecilians, plateaus

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