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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 68:89-90 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/dao068089

MS-222 (tricaine methane sulfonate) does not kill the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

Rebecca Webb*, Lee Berger, Diana Mendez, Rick Speare

Amphibian Disease Ecology Group, School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia

ABSTRACT: MS-222 (tricaine methane sulfonate) is an agent commonly used to anaesthetise or euthanize amphibians used in experiments. It is administered by immersing the animal to allow absorption through the skin. Chytridiomycosis is an important disease of amphibians and research involves experiments with live animals. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the fungus which causes chytridiomycosis, is located in the skin and therefore the organism should come into contact with MS-222 when it is used. B. dendrobatidis is a sensitive organism which could possibly be killed by MS-222. Hence, results of chytridiomycosis studies in which MS-222 is used could be unreliable. A concentration of 2 g l–1 and an exposure duration of 1 h is at the high end of the range at which MS-222 would be most commonly used. Exposure to 2 g l–1 MS-222 for 1 h does not kill B. dendrobatidis cultures, suggesting that MS-222 is safe to use in chytridiomycosis studies.

KEY WORDS: MS-222 · Tricaine methane sulfonate · Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis · Chytridiomycosis · Anaesthetic

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