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Pathological and phylogenetic characterization of Amphibiothecum sp. infection in an isolated amphibian (Lissotriton helveticus) population on the island of Rum (Scotland)

Fiegna, C; Clarke, CL; Shaw, DR; Baily, JL; Clare, FC; Gray, A; Garner, TWJ; (2017) Pathological and phylogenetic characterization of Amphibiothecum sp. infection in an isolated amphibian (Lissotriton helveticus) population on the island of Rum (Scotland). Parasitology , 144 (4) pp. 484-496. 10.1017/S0031182016001943. Green open access

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Abstract

Outbreaks of cutaneous infectious disease in amphibians are increasingly being attributed to an overlooked group of fungal-like pathogens, the Dermocystids. During the last 10 years on the Isle of Rum, Scotland, palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus) have been reportedly afflicted by unusual skin lesions. Here we present pathological and molecular findings confirming that the pathogen associated with these lesions is a novel organism of the order Dermocystida, and represents the first formally reported, and potentially lethal, case of amphibian Dermocystid infection in the UK. Whilst the gross pathology and the parasite cyst morphology were synonymous to those described in a study from infected L. helveticus in France, we observed a more extreme clinical outcome on Rum involving severe subcutaneous oedema. Phylogenetic topologies supported synonymy between Dermocystid sequences from Rum and France and as well as their distinction from Amphibiocystidium spp. Phylogenetic analysis also suggested that the amphibian-infecting Dermocystids are not monophyletic. We conclude that the L. helveticusinfecting pathogen represents a single, novel species; Amphibiothecum meredithae.

Type: Article
Title: Pathological and phylogenetic characterization of Amphibiothecum sp. infection in an isolated amphibian (Lissotriton helveticus) population on the island of Rum (Scotland)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0031182016001943
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0031182016001943
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: Amphibiocystidium, Dermocystidium, Amphibiothecum, palmate newts, infection, pathology, phylogenetics
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/1524021
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