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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 92:159-163 (2010)  -  DOI:

Contribution to the DAO Special 'Chytridiomycosis: An emerging disease'

Experimental infection of self-cured Leiopelma archeyi with the amphibian chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

Stephanie D. Shaw1,*, Phillip J. Bishop2, Lee Berger1, Lee Francis Skerratt1, Stephen Garland1, Dianne M. Gleeson3, Amanda Haigh4, Sarah Herbert2, Rick Speare1

1Amphibian Disease Ecology Group, School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia
2Department of Zoology, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
3Landcare Research Ltd, Private Bag 92170, Auckland, New Zealand
4Waikato Conservancy Office, Department of Conservation, Private Bag 3072, Hamilton, New Zealand

ABSTRACT: The susceptibility of Archey’s frog Leiopelma archeyi to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is unknown, although one large population is thought to have declined sharply due to chytridiomycosis. As primary infection experiments were not permitted in this endangered New Zealand species, 6 wild-caught L. archeyi that naturally cleared infections with Bd while in captivity were exposed again to Bd to assess their immunity. These frogs were from an infected population at Whareorino, which has no known declines. All 6 L. archeyi became reinfected at low intensities, but rapidly self cured, most by 2 wk. Six Litoria ewingii were used as positive controls and developed heavier infections and clinical signs by 3 wk, demonstrating that the zoospore inoculum was virulent. Six negative controls of each species remained uninfected and healthy. Our results show that L. archeyi that have self cured have resistance to chytridiomycosis when exposed. The pattern is consistent with innate or acquired immunity to Bd, and immunological studies are needed to confirm this.

KEY WORDS: Leiopelma archeyi · Litoria ewingii · Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis · Chytridiomycosis

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Cite this article as: Shaw SD, Bishop PJ, Berger L, Skerratt LF and others (2010) Experimental infection of self-cured Leiopelma archeyi with the amphibian chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Dis Aquat Org 92:159-163.

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