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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 142:171-176 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03539

Seasonal prevalence of the amphibian chytrid in a tropical pond-dwelling tadpole species

Joice Ruggeri1,*,#, Ana Glaucia Da Silva Martins2,#, Adão Henrique Rosa Domingos2, Isaias Santos2, Imran Bharat Viroomal2, Luís Felipe Toledo1

1Laboratório de História Natural de Anfíbios Brasileiros (LaHNAB), Departamento de Biologia Animal, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, São Paulo, 13083-862, Brazil
2Instituto de Pesquisa da Biodiversidade (IPBio), Reserva Betary, Iporanga, São Paulo, 18330-000, Brazil
*Corresponding author:
#These authors contributed equally to this study

ABSTRACT: Infection by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a major threat to amphibians and has caused catastrophic global declines of amphibian populations. Some studies have detected a seasonal pattern of infection associated with the local climate, and although most of them have focused on investigating the seasonality of Bd in relation to its impacts on amphibians, fewer have aimed to understand the chytrid persistence in the amphibian assemblage over seasons by investigating reservoir hosts. Since tadpoles are generally tolerant to Bd infection, they often play a relevant role in local disease dynamics. Thus, we hypothesized that tadpoles of Boana faber, a species that can be found in permanent ponds throughout the seasons, would function as Bd reservoirs. We therefore investigated Bd infection prevalence in tadpoles of this species over 2 yr in a nature reserve. As expected, we detected a seasonal variation of Bd infection, with a higher prevalence of Bd during the coldest months (winter) when compared to the warmer months (summer). Interestingly, our seasonal-trend decomposition analysis showed that Bd prevalence is increasing annually in the area, which could represent either a natural fluctuation of this pathogen, or an imminent threat to that anuran assemblage. With this study, we highlight the tadpole of B. faber as a potential reservoir for Bd, and we suggest that monitoring Bd in such hosts could be a powerful tool for identifying priority areas for amphibian conservation.


KEY WORDS: Boana faber · Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis · Disease ecology · Climatic variables · Pathogen maintenance · Reservoir host · Time-series decomposition


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Cite this article as: Ruggeri J, Martins AGS, Domingos AHR, Santos I, Viroomal IB, Toledo LF (2020) Seasonal prevalence of the amphibian chytrid in a tropical pond-dwelling tadpole species. Dis Aquat Org 142:171-176. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03539

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