Inter-Research > DAO > v128 > n2 > p93-103  

DAO 128:93-103 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03217

Factors influencing detection and co-detection of Ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Midwestern North American anuran populations

Katherine Talbott1,2, Tiffany M. Wolf1,3,*, Peter Sebastian3, Meagan Abraham3, Irene Bueno3, Matt McLaughlin1, Tara Harris1, Rachel Thompson1, Allan P. Pessier4,5, Dominic Travis3

1Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley, MN 55124, USA
2Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
3Veterinary Population Medicine Department, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
4Amphibian Disease Laboratory, Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global, San Diego, CA 92027, USA
5Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Amphibian populations are in decline worldwide as they face a barrage of challenges, including infectious diseases caused by ranaviruses and the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Here we describe seasonal dynamics of Bd and ranavirus detection in free-ranging post-metamorphic wood frogs Lithobates sylvaticus, boreal chorus frogs Pseudacris maculata/triseriata, and gray treefrogs Hyla versicolor/chrysoscelis, sampled over a 3 season gradient in Minnesota (USA) wetlands. We detected Bd in 36% (n = 259) of individuals sampled in 3 wetlands in 2014, and 33% (n = 255) of individuals sampled in 8 wetlands in 2015. We also detected ranavirus in 60% and 18% of individuals sampled in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Ranavirus and Bd were detected concurrently in 26% and 2% of animals sampled in 2014 and 2015, respectively. We report clinical signs and associated infection status of sampled frogs; of the clinical signs observed, skin discoloration was significantly associated with ranavirus infection. Using generalized estimating equations, we found that species, season, wetland, and a species × season interaction term were significant predictors of Bd detection, whereas test year approached significance as a predictor of ranavirus detection. The odds of detecting both pathogens concurrently was significantly influenced by species, season, a species × season interaction term, year, and environmental ammonia. We propose an amphibian health monitoring scheme that couples population size surveys with seasonal molecular surveys of pathogen presence. This information is crucial to monitoring the health of remaining strongholds of healthy amphibian populations, as they face an uncertain future of further anthropogenic change.


KEY WORDS: Amphibian decline · Amphibian disease · Ranavirus · Amphibian chytrid fungus · Gray treefrog · Wood frog · Boreal chorus frog


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Cite this article as: Talbott K, Wolf TM, Sebastian P, Abraham M and others (2018) Factors influencing detection and co-detection of Ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Midwestern North American anuran populations. Dis Aquat Org 128:93-103. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03217

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