Journal article

Indirect terrestrial transmission of amphibian chytrid fungus from reservoir to susceptible host species leads to fatal chytridiomycosis

Thomas J Burns, Ben C Scheele, Laura A Brannelly, Nick Clemann, Deon Gilbert, Don A Driscoll

Animal Conservation | WILEY | Published : 2020

Abstract

The amphibian chytrid fungal pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, henceforth Bd) has had a devastating impact on biodiversity, causing the decline or extinction of over 500 amphibian species. Yet, our understanding of Bd transmission pathways remains incomplete, in particular for host species with weak aquatic associations, and between reservoir and susceptible host species. We examined Bd transmission from a potential reservoir host to a potentially susceptible critically endangered host; directly assessing the capacity of the former to transmit Bd, and the susceptibility of the latter as a Bd host. Using cohousing versus sequential use of the same enclosure by the two species, we dist..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank the Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort for providing accommodation during fieldwork. We thank Matt West and Kimberly Chhen for providing cultured chytrid zoospores. We thank John Patykowski and Mairi Hilton for assistance in the field; Rod Collins, Andrea West, Bruce Newall and Lyn Crammond for assistance with husbandry; and Anthony van Rooyen for laboratory work. We thank Zoos Victoria, in particular Damian Goodall, for providing animals for experiments. We thank anonymous reviewers for comments on our manuscript. We are also especially thankful to Zoos Victoria and Icon Species Fund for providing funding for the project. We acknowledge the Gunaikurnai People and Wadawurrung People on whose traditional lands this study took place. Research was approved by the Deakin University Animal Ethics Committee (B03-2017) and conducted under permit No. 10008298 issued by the Victorian Government's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The authors declare no competing interests.