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Epidemiological tracing of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans identifies widespread infection and associated mortalities in private amphibian collections

Fitzpatrick, L; Pasmans, F; Martel, A; Cunningham, AA; (2018) Epidemiological tracing of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans identifies widespread infection and associated mortalities in private amphibian collections. Scientific Reports , 8 , Article 13845. 10.1038/s41598-018-31800-z. Green open access

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Abstract

The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) infects newts and salamanders (urodele amphibians), in which it can cause fatal disease. This pathogen has caused dramatic fire salamander population declines in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany since its discovery in 2010. Thought to be native to Asia, it has been hypothesised that Bsal was introduced to Europe with the importation of infected amphibians for the commercial pet trade. Following the discovery of Bsal in captive amphibians in the United Kingdom in 2015, we used contact-tracing to identify epidemiologically-linked private amphibian collections in Western Europe. Of 16 linked collections identified, animals were tested from 11 and urodeles tested positive for Bsal in seven, including the identification of the pathogen in Spain for the first time. Mortality of Bsal-positive individuals was observed in five collections. Our results indicate that Bsal is likely widespread within the private amphibian trade, at least in Europe. These findings are important for informing policy regarding Bsal control strategies.

Type: Article
Title: Epidemiological tracing of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans identifies widespread infection and associated mortalities in private amphibian collections
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-31800-z
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-31800-z
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. 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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10055421
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