Journal article

Impact and Dynamics of Disease in Species Threatened by the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

Kris A Murray, Lee F Skerratt, Rick Speare, Hamish McCallum



Estimating disease-associated mortality and transmission processes is difficult in free-ranging wildlife but important for understanding disease impacts and dynamics and for informing management decisions. In a capture-mark-recapture study, we used a PCR-based diagnostic test in combination with multistate models to provide the first estimates of disease-associated mortality and detection, infection, and recovery rates for frogs endemically infected with the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the pandemic amphibian disease chytridiomycosis. We found that endemic chytridiomycosis was associated with a substantial reduction (approximately 38%) in apparent monthly ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank S. Lachish and D. Pavlacky for help with the CMR modeling, K. Kriger, A. Phillott, and P. Symonds for essential sampling insight, and H. Hines, E. Meyer, and J. Clarke for their help in the design of the project. Fieldwork was conducted with the impeccable assistance of B. Barth, D. Buchholz, S. Murray, and C. Sanderson. We also thank R. Wilson. The manuscript was vastly improved by comments provided by S. Lachish, H. Hines, and two anonymous reviewers. Major funding for the project was supplied by Australian Research Council Discovery Grant DP0451402 to H.M., R.S., A. Hyatt, and P. Daszak. K.M. was supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award, an Australian Biosecurity CRC professional development award, and a Wildlife Preservation Society of Australia student research award. Funding by the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (tender 42/2004 on the epidemiology of chytridiomycosis) contributed to the cost of diagnostic testing, and we thank R. Campbell for PCR analyses. This study was approved under University of Queensland Animal Ethics permit SIB/144/06/ARC and Queensland Parks and Wildlife permits (WITK037994406, WISP03806206, TWB/21/2006, TWB/34/2006).