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Herpesvirus skin disease in free-living common frogs Rana temporaria in Great Britain

Franklinos, LHV; Rodriguez-Ramos Fernandez, J; Hydeskov, HB; Hopkins, KP; Everest, DJ; Cunningham, AA; Lawson, B; (2018) Herpesvirus skin disease in free-living common frogs Rana temporaria in Great Britain. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms , 129 (3) pp. 239-244. 10.3354/dao03246. Green open access

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Abstract

Infectious disease is a significant driver of global amphibian declines, yet despite this, relatively little is known about the range of pathogens that affect free-living amphibians. Recent detection of the tentatively named Ranid herpesvirus 3 (RHV3), associated with skin disease in free-living common frogs Rana temporaria in Switzerland, helps to address this paucity in knowledge, but the geographic distribution and epidemiology of the pathogen remains unclear. Syndromic surveillance for ranid herpesvirus skin disease was undertaken throughout Great Britain (GB), January 2014 to December 2016. Reports of common frogs with macroscopic skin lesions with a characteristic grey appearance were solicited from members of the public. Post-mortem examination was conducted on one affected frog found dead in 2015 at a site in England. In addition, archived samples from an incident involving common frogs in England in 1997 with similar macroscopic lesions were further investigated. Transmission electron microscopy identified herpes-like virions in skin lesions from both the 1997 and 2015 incidents. RHV3, or RHV3-like virus, was detected in skin lesions from the 2015 case by PCR and sequencing. Our findings indicate that herpesvirus skin disease is endemic in common frogs in GB, with widespread distribution at apparently low prevalence. Further research into the role of host immunity, virus latency and the significance of infection to host survival is required to better understand the epidemiology and impact of cutaneous herpesvirus infections in amphibian populations.

Type: Article
Title: Herpesvirus skin disease in free-living common frogs Rana temporaria in Great Britain
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3354/dao03246
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03246
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Ranid herpesvirus 3, skin disease, Great Britain, Europe, Rana temporaria, amphibian, herpesvirus
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10048498
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