DAO 99:119-125 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02461

Controlling wildlife fungal disease spread: in vitro efficacy of disinfectants against Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Mucor amphibiorum

Rebecca Webb1,*, Annie Philips2, Rick Speare1, Joanne Connolly3,4, Lee Berger1

1Amphibian Disease Ecology Group, School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia
2Biodiversity Conservation Branch, DPIPWE, 134 Macquarie Street, Hobart, Tasmania 7000, Australia
3EH Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales 2678, Australia
4School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales 2678, Australia

ABSTRACT: Chytridiomycosis in amphibians, and mucormycosis in the platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus and amphibians, are serious fungal diseases affecting these aquatic taxa. In Tasmania, Australia, the fungi that cause these diseases overlap in range along with Phytophthora cinnamomi (Pc), an invasive fungal plant pathogen. To identify disinfectants that may be useful to reduce anthropogenic spread of these fungi to uninfected wilderness areas, for example by bush walkers and forestry or fire-fighting operations, we tested 3 disinfectants and a fire-fighting foam against Mucor amphibiorum (Ma) and tested 1 disinfectant and the foam against Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Combining the present study with previous work we found Bd was more susceptible to all 4 chemicals than Ma. Phytoclean, a disinfectant used at 2 to 10% for 30 s to control Pc, killed cultures of Bd at 0.075% and Ma at 5%, when also applied for 30 s. The disinfectant F10sc was not effective against Ma at standard exposures, but previous work shows Bd is killed at 0.03% with a 1 min exposure. Path-X is effective against Bd at 0.001% with a 30 s exposure and killed Ma at 1% with a 5 min exposure. Forexpan S, a foam added to water at 0.1 to 1% to control forest fires, killed Bd but not Ma when used at 1% for 2 min. Therefore, Phytoclean and Path-X have broader efficacy, although Path-X has not been trialled against Pc. Interestingly a positive mating strain of Ma (from a platypus) was more resistant to disinfectants than a negative strain (from a frog). Current protocols against Pc that involve high concentrations (10%) of Phytoclean are likely to reduce spread of pathogenic wildlife fungi, which is important for protecting biodiversity.


KEY WORDS: Chytridiomycosis · Mucormycosis · Pathogenic fungi · Platypus · Amphibian · Phytophthora cinnamomi


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Cite this article as: Webb R, Philips A, Speare R, Connolly J, Berger L (2012) Controlling wildlife fungal disease spread: in vitro efficacy of disinfectants against Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Mucor amphibiorum. Dis Aquat Org 99:119-125. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02461

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