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First detection of the emerging fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Germany


Sabino-Pinto, J; Bletz, M; Hendrix, R; Perl, R G B; Martel, A; Pasmans, F; Lötters, S; Mutschmann, F; Schmeller, D S; Schmidt, B R; Veith, M; Wagner, N; Vences, M; Steinfartz, S (2015). First detection of the emerging fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Germany. Amphibia - Reptilia, 36(4):411-416.

Abstract

The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is one of the major factors triggering global amphibian declines. A recently discovered species of chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), likely originated in East Asia, has led to massive declines in populations of fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) after its apparent introduction to the Netherlands and Belgium. Here, we report the first detection of this pathogen in Germany where it caused mass mortality of fire salamanders in a captive collection. Salamanders from this collection showed an almost 100% prevalence of infection with Bsal. Supposed Bsal-induced mortality occurred in multiple Salamandra species (S. salamandra, S. algira, S. corsica, and S. infraimmaculata), while Bsal infection was confirmed in nine subspecies of S. salamandra and in S. algira. Our study indicates that this pathogen can potentially infect all fire salamander species and subspecies. If Bsal spreads from captive collections to wild populations, then a similar devastating effect associated with high mortality should be expected.

Abstract

The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is one of the major factors triggering global amphibian declines. A recently discovered species of chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), likely originated in East Asia, has led to massive declines in populations of fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) after its apparent introduction to the Netherlands and Belgium. Here, we report the first detection of this pathogen in Germany where it caused mass mortality of fire salamanders in a captive collection. Salamanders from this collection showed an almost 100% prevalence of infection with Bsal. Supposed Bsal-induced mortality occurred in multiple Salamandra species (S. salamandra, S. algira, S. corsica, and S. infraimmaculata), while Bsal infection was confirmed in nine subspecies of S. salamandra and in S. algira. Our study indicates that this pathogen can potentially infect all fire salamander species and subspecies. If Bsal spreads from captive collections to wild populations, then a similar devastating effect associated with high mortality should be expected.

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14 citations in Web of Science®
13 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:amphibian, pathogen, chytrid, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, Salamandra, salamander
Language:English
Date:November 2015
Deposited On:23 Nov 2015 12:01
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 14:54
Publisher:Brill Academic Publishers
ISSN:0173-5373
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1163/15685381-00003008

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