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      Shifts in disease dynamics in a tropical amphibian assemblage are not due to pathogen attenuation

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

            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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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science
                Science
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                0036-8075
                1095-9203
                March 29 2018
                March 29 2018
                : 359
                : 6383
                : 1517-1519
                Article
                10.1126/science.aao4806
                29599242
                e622b43f-7e36-4951-8e31-29eaccd64f3e
                © 2018

                http://www.sciencemag.org/about/science-licenses-journal-article-reuse

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