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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 101:13-21 (2012)  -  DOI:

Multihost saprobes are facultative pathogens of bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus eggs

Gregory R. Ruthig1,3,*, Katie N. Provost-Javier1,2,4

1Mountain Lake Biological Station, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904, USA
2The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187, USA
3Present address: Department of Biology, North Central College, Naperville, Illinois 60540, USA
4Present address: The W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA

ABSTRACT: Pathogens that infect more than one host species create complex linkages in ecological communities. We tested whether saprobes that grow on multiple host species in aquatic systems can be facultative pathogens of amphibian eggs. We isolated oomycetes from dead arthropods, vertebrates, plant leaves, and frog eggs that coexisted in a small pond. Analysis of internal transcribed spacer regions of rDNA (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2) indicated that several of the strains colonized more than one substrate, including bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus eggs. In a controlled experiment, isolates from 7 different host species were pathogenic to L. catesbeianus eggs. These results demonstrate that dead organisms can serve as reservoirs for facultative pathogens.

KEY WORDS: Oomycetes · Water molds · Multihost pathogen · Amphibian disease · Opportunistic pathogen · Internal transcribed spacer

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Cite this article as: Ruthig GR, Provost-Javier KN (2012) Multihost saprobes are facultative pathogens of bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus eggs. Dis Aquat Org 101:13-21.

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