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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 112:1-8 (2014)  -  DOI:

Chytridiomycosis risk among Central European amphibians based on surveillance data

Vojtech Baláž1,*, Jiří Vojar2, Petr Civiš2, Martin Šandera3, Roman Rozínek

1Department of Biology and Wildlife Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Palackého tř. 1/3, Brno 612 42, Czech Republic
2Department of Ecology, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, Prague 6, 165 21, Czech Republic
3Museum of Nature of Bohemian Paradise, Prachov 37, Jičín, 506 01, Czech Republic
4NaturaServis Ltd., Říčařova 66, Hradec Králové, 503 01, Czech Republic
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The Czech Republic hosts a surprisingly rich biodiversity of amphibians representing the majority of amphibian species present in all of Central and Eastern Europe. Surveillance data of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) collected during 2008 to 2012 were analysed for basic patterns of prevalence and infection intensity among species, age groups and localities. In addition, an investigation was made into possible data bias due to varying PCR inhibition. Infection prevalence in the genus Pelophylax was significantly higher than in other sampled taxa, while Bombina and Bufo were infected with intermediate prevalence. Individual mortalities putatively caused by chytridiomycosis were detected in Bombina and Bufo, but not in Pelophylax. Differences among localities were seen to modulate the pathogen’s infection rate and influence overall individual infection intensities. PCR inhibition occurred significantly more often in samples from the genus Pelophylax than in other tested taxa (Bufo bufo, B. viridis, Bombina bombina, Pelobates fuscus and Rana dalmatina). Although we found no completely inhibited samples within the genus Bombina, the infection loads were lower in the sample set processed without bovine serum albumin, suggesting some level of PCR inhibition. The combination of high Bd prevalence with no apparent deleterious effect and the high dispersal abilities of water frogs predispose them to act as vectors for chytridiomycosis. It is possible that the role of Pelophylax frogs in the spread of Bd is overlooked due to a large proportion of unrecognized false negatives, but this issue needs further confirmation.

KEY WORDS: Amphibian chytrid fungus · Czech Republic · PCR inhibition · Real-time Taqman PCR assay · Permutation analysis · GLM

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Cite this article as: Baláž V, Vojar J, Civiš P, Šandera M, Rozínek R (2014) Chytridiomycosis risk among Central European amphibians based on surveillance data. Dis Aquat Org 112:1-8.

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