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Development and worldwide use of non-lethal, and minimal population-level impact, protocols for the isolation of amphibian chytrid fungi

Fisher, M; Ghosh, P; Shelton, J; Bates, K; Brookes, L; Wierzbicki, C; Rosa, G; ... Garner, TWJ; + view all (2018) Development and worldwide use of non-lethal, and minimal population-level impact, protocols for the isolation of amphibian chytrid fungi. Scientific Reports , 8 , Article 7772. 10.1038/s41598-018-24472-2. Green open access

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Abstract

Parasitic chytrid fungi have emerged as a significant threat to amphibian species worldwide, necessitating the development of techniques to isolate these pathogens into sterile culture for research purposes. However, early methods of isolating chytrids from their hosts relied on killing amphibians. We modified a pre-existing protocol for isolating chytrids from infected animals to use toe clips and biopsies from toe webbing rather than euthanizing hosts, and distributed the protocol to interested researchers worldwide as part of the BiodivERsA project RACE; here called the RML protocol. In tandem, we developed a lethal procedure for isolating chytrids from tadpole mouthparts. Reviewing a database of use a decade after their inception, we find that these methods have been widely applied across at least 5 continents, 23 countries and in 62 amphibian species, and have been successfully used to isolate chytrids in remote field locations. Isolation of chytrids by the non-lethal RML protocol occured in 18% of attempts with 207 fungal isolates and three species of chytrid being recovered. Isolation of chytrids from tadpoles occured in 43% of attempts with 334 fungal isolates of one species (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) being recovered. Together, these methods have resulted in a significant reduction and refinement of our use of threatened amphibian species and have improved our ability to work with this important group of emerging fungal pathogens.

Type: Article
Title: Development and worldwide use of non-lethal, and minimal population-level impact, protocols for the isolation of amphibian chytrid fungi
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-24472-2
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-24472-2
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10046023
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