DAO 109:165-175 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02732

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence and haplotypes in domestic and imported pet amphibians in Japan

Kenichi Tamukai1, Yumi Une2,*, Atsushi Tominaga3, Kazutaka Suzuki4, Koichi Goka

1Den-en-chofu Animal Hospital, 2-1-3 Denenchofu, Ota-ku, Tokyo 145-0071, Japan
2Laboratory of Veterinary Pathology, Azabu University, 1-17-71 Fuchinobe, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5201, Japan
3Department of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Education, University of the Ryukyus, 1 Senbaru, Nishihara, Okinawa 901-0213, Japan
4Invasive Alien Species Research Team, National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The international trade in amphibians is believed to have increased the spread of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the fungal pathogen responsible for chytridiomycosis, which has caused a rapid decline in amphibian populations worldwide. We surveyed amphibians imported into Japan and those held in captivity for a long period or bred in Japan to clarify the Bd infection status. Samples were taken from 820 individuals of 109 amphibian species between 2008 and 2011 and were analyzed by a nested-PCR assay. Bd prevalence in imported amphibians was 10.3% (58/561), while it was 6.9% (18/259) in those in private collections and commercially bred amphibians in Japan. We identified the genotypes of this fungus using partial DNA sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Sequencing of PCR products of all 76 Bd-positive samples revealed 11 haplotypes of the Bd ITS region. Haplotype A (DNA Data Bank of Japan accession number AB435211) was found in 90% (52/58) of imported amphibians. The results show that Bd is currently entering Japan via the international trade in exotic amphibians as pets, suggesting that the trade has indeed played a major role in the spread of Bd.


KEY WORDS: Chytrid · Amphibian disease · Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis · Chytridiomycosis · Pet trade · ITS · Japan


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Cite this article as: Tamukai K, Une Y, Tominaga A, Suzuki K, Goka K (2014) Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence and haplotypes in domestic and imported pet amphibians in Japan. Dis Aquat Org 109:165-175. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02732

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