Variable susceptibility of frogs to the emerging infectious disease Chytridiomycosis
Chytridiomycosis is an infectious disease of amphibians which is now being recognised as a worldwide problem. The question posed by this research was “ Why are some frogs susceptible to the disease and others are not?” Chytridiomycosis is caused by a fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis which is one of the group of fungi referred to as water moulds.
This research has found that some animals have innate immune defences as they have the appropriate anti-microbial peptides which are active against the fungus. Others appear to choose microhabitats which are not favoured by the fungus and yet others exhibit disease avoidance behaviour by avoiding infected water. Thus management plans need to understand how each species responds to the fungus.
This study was conducted in Prof Ross Alford’s lab at James Cook University, Townsville.
Contact person: Nicole.Kenyon@gmail.com