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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 60:141-148 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/dao060141

Rapid quantitative detection of chytridiomycosis (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in amphibian samples using real-time Taqman PCR assay

D. G. Boyle1, D. B. Boyle1,*, V. Olsen1, J. A. T. Morgan2, A. D. Hyatt1,*

1Australian Animal Health Laboratory, CSIRO Livestock Industries, Private Bag 24, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia
2Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA
*Corresponding authors. Email: ;

ABSTRACT: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a major pathogen of frogs worldwide, associated with declines in amphibian populations. Diagnosis of chytridiomycosis to date has largely relied upon histological and immunohistochemical examination of toe clips. This technique is invasive and insensitive particularly at early stages of infection when treatment may be possible. We have developed a real-time PCR Taqman assay that can accurately detect and quantify one zoospore in a diagnostic sample. This assay will assist the early detection of B. dendrobatidis in both captive and wild populations, with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity, thus facilitating treatment and protection of endangered populations, monitoring of pristine environments and preventing further global spread via amphibian trade.

KEY WORDS: Chytrids · Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis · Amphibian declines · Real-time PCR Taqman assay · Chytridiomycosis

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