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      Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov. causes lethal chytridiomycosis in amphibians.

      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

      Temperature, ultrastructure, Spores, Fungal, Species Specificity, Sequence Analysis, RNA, microbiology, Salamandra, genetics, RNA, Ribosomal, Population Dynamics, Phylogeny, epidemiology, Netherlands, Molecular Sequence Data, Models, Genetic, Microscopy, Electron, Likelihood Functions, veterinary, pathology, Dermatomycoses, DNA Primers, growth & development, Chytridiomycota, Biodiversity, Bayes Theorem, Base Sequence, Animals, physiology, Acclimatization

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          Abstract

          The current biodiversity crisis encompasses a sixth mass extinction event affecting the entire class of amphibians. The infectious disease chytridiomycosis is considered one of the major drivers of global amphibian population decline and extinction and is thought to be caused by a single species of aquatic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. However, several amphibian population declines remain unexplained, among them a steep decrease in fire salamander populations (Salamandra salamandra) that has brought this species to the edge of local extinction. Here we isolated and characterized a unique chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov., from this salamander population. This chytrid causes erosive skin disease and rapid mortality in experimentally infected fire salamanders and was present in skin lesions of salamanders found dead during the decline event. Together with the closely related B. dendrobatidis, this taxon forms a well-supported chytridiomycete clade, adapted to vertebrate hosts and highly pathogenic to amphibians. However, the lower thermal growth preference of B. salamandrivorans, compared with B. dendrobatidis, and resistance of midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) to experimental infection with B. salamandrivorans suggest differential niche occupation of the two chytrid fungi.

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          Most cited references 22

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          MrBayes bayesian phylogenetic inference under mixed models

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            Emerging fungal threats to animal, plant and ecosystem health.

            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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              Rapid quantitative detection of chytridiomycosis (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in amphibian samples using real-time Taqman PCR assay.

              Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a major pathogen of frogs worldwide, associated with declines in amphibian populations. Diagnosis of chytridiomycosis to date has largely relied upon histological and immunohistochemical examination of toe clips. This technique is invasive and insensitive particularly at early stages of infection when treatment may be possible. We have developed a real-time PCR Taqman assay that can accurately detect and quantify one zoospore in a diagnostic sample. This assay will assist the early detection of B. dendrobatidis in both captive and wild populations, with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity, thus facilitating treatment and protection of endangered populations, monitoring of pristine environments and preventing further global spread via amphibian trade.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                24003137
                3780879
                10.1073/pnas.1307356110

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