Amphibians that inhabit natural environments are more likely to be infected with the fatal Bd fungus that has devastated frog and salamander populations worldwide than those living in habitats disturbed by human development.
The results, published yesterday (May 30) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, challenge the assumption that habitat loss necessarily exacerbates the spread of disease."I don't think anyone will be going up in the mountains cutting down trees in the hopes of getting rid of Bd or anything," said linkurl:Forrest Brem;https://umdrive.memphis.edu/shanlon1/public/parrislab/students.html who researches amphibian epidemiology at the University of Memphis and was not involved in the research. "But I think this study will remind everyone how complex host-pathogen-environment systems are and encourage us to incorporate this complexity in their thinking, teaching, and research." Bd (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) is a member of the chytrid...
Image: Wikimedia commons, US Fish and Wildlife Service
BdBdBdBdBdThe ScientistBdBdBdC.G. Becker and K.R. Zamudio, "Tropical amphibian populations experience higher disease risk in natural habitats," __PNAS__, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1014497108, 2011.
Interested in reading more?
Become a Member of
Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!