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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 129:159-164 (2018)  -  DOI:

Non-lethal isolation of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) from amphibians

Kimberly J. Cook1,*, Jamie Voyles2, Heather V. Kenny1, Karen L. Pope3, Jonah Piovia-Scott1

1School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University, Vancouver, Vancouver, WA 98686, USA
2Department of Biology, University of Nevada-Reno, Reno, NV 89557, USA
3Pacific Southwest Research Station, US Forest Service, Arcata, CA 95521, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The ability to isolate and purify pathogens is important for the study of infectious disease. A protocol for isolating Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a lethal pathogen of amphibians, has been available for over a decade, but the method relies on sacrificing infected animals. We validated a non-lethal protocol for Bd isolation that uses biopsy punches from toe webbing to collect skin samples from live amphibians in remote field locations. We successfully isolated Bd from the Cascades frog Rana cascadae and found a positive association between Bd infection and probability of Bd growth in culture. Recapture rates of sampled animals suggest that our isolation protocol did not affect frog survival. The ability to collect isolates from live animals will facilitate investigations of the biology of Bd and enhance amphibian conservation efforts.

KEY WORDS: Amphibian declines · Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis · Chytridiomycosis · Pathogen isolation · Biopsy

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Cite this article as: Cook KJ, Voyles J, Kenny HV, Pope KL, Piovia-Scott J (2018) Non-lethal isolation of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) from amphibians. Dis Aquat Org 129:159-164.

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