DAO 71:149-154 (2006) - doi:10.3354/dao071149
Cost efficiency in the detection of chytridiomycosis using PCR assay
Kerry M. Kriger1,2,*, Jean-Marc Hero1, Kevin J. Ashton3
ABSTRACT: Chytridiomycosis is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians associated with mass mortalities and population declines worldwide. Recent technological advances have resulted in a highly sensitive, non-invasive technique for diagnosing the disease based on a quantitative (real-time) polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay. The qPCR assay yields the most accurate and informative data of any available detection technique. However, due to the relatively high costs involved, it has yet to attain widespread use by chytridiomycosis researchers. Using the results of a disease survey of 467 wild frogs from eastern Queensland, Australia, we examine the necessity of triplicate assays in qPCR detection of chytridiomycosis. We describe a singlicate qPCR assay that can be used to substantially decrease costs, with no significant decrease in sensitivity. We also demonstrate that detection of chytridiomycosis by use of the conventional PCR assay may lead to appreciable underestimations in disease prevalence. We recommend that amphibian disease researchers adopt the singlicate qPCR assay as the primary means of chytridiomycosis detection.
KEY WORDS: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis · Amphibian declines · Chytridiomycosis · Real-time Taqman PCR assay · Chytrid
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