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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 94:235-238 (2011)  -  DOI:

Elevated temperature as a treatment for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in captive frogs

Matthew W. H. Chatfield*, Corinne L. Richards-Zawacki

Tulane University, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118, USA

ABSTRACT: The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been implicated in amphibian declines worldwide. In vitro laboratory studies and those done on wild populations indicate that Bd grows best at cool temperatures between 17 and 25°C. In the present study, we tested whether moderately elevating the ambient temperature to 30°C could be an effective treatment for frogs infected with Bd. We acquired 35 bullfrogs Rana catesbeiana from breeding facilities and 36 northern cricket frogs Acris crepitans from the wild and acclimated them to either 23 or 26°C for 1 mo. Following the acclimation period, frogs were tested for the presence of Bd using qPCR TaqMan assays. The 12 R. catesbeiana and 16 A. crepitans that tested positive for Bd were subjected to 30°C for 10 consecutive days before returning frogs to their starting temperatures. Post-treatment testing revealed that 27 of the 28 frogs that had tested positive were no longer infected with Bd; only a single A. crepitans remained infected following treatment. This result indicates that elevating ambient temperature to a moderate 30°C can be effective as a treatment for Bd infection in captive amphi­bians, and suggests that heat may be a superior alternative to antifungal drugs.

KEY WORDS: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis · Chytrid · Amphibian disease

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Cite this article as: Chatfield MWH, Richards-Zawacki CL (2011) Elevated temperature as a treatment for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in captive frogs. Dis Aquat Org 94:235-238.

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