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Batrachochytrium

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An Martel – 1st expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • Clinically healthy amphibians in captive collections and at pet fairs: A reservoir of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
    Amphibia-reptilia, 2020
    Co-Authors: Annemarieke Spitzen-van Der Sluijs, An Martel, Emma Wombwell, Pascale Van Rooij, Ronald Zollinger, Tonnie Woeltjes, Matthew Rendle, Freddy Haesebrouck, Frank Pasmans

    Abstract:

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is the cause of the fungal disease chytridiomycosis, a potentially lethal skin disease of amphibians. Asymptomatically infected amphibians may pose a risk for environmental pathogen pollution. This study therefore assessed the role of healthy, captive amphibians as a reservoir of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Samples were collected from captive amphibians in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France (559 from anurans, 330 from urodelans and 4 from gymnophians) from private owners, zoos, and laboratories. In addition to which, 78 anurans from 19 living collections were sampled during a pet fair in the Netherlands. Nearly 3% of the captive amphibians were infected by B. dendrobatidis, and 13.6% of the collections yielded at least one positive result. At the fair, 7 out of 78 anurans, representing 2 collections were positive. None of the animals that tested positive showed any obvious health problems at the time of sampling. Our results demonstrate the potential of the amphibian pet trade as a vehicle for the spread of B. dendrobatidis.

  • Reference gene screening of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans for quantitative real-time PCR studies.
    Scientific Reports, 2019
    Co-Authors: Elin Verbrugghe, Frank Pasmans, An Martel

    Abstract:

    Real-time quantitative PCR studies largely depend on reference genes for the normalization of gene expression. Stable reference genes should be accurately selected in order to obtain reliable results. We here present a study screening commonly used reference genes (TEF1F, α-centractin, Ctsyn1, GAPDH, R6046, APRT and TUB) in the chytrid fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), which cause the lethal amphibian skin disease chytridiomycosis. We evaluated the stability of the reference gene candidates during different growth stages of the fungi, using different statistical software packages: ΔCT, BestKeeper, GeNorm, NormFinder and RefFinder. In order to reflect the in vivo situation, the stability of the candidates was assessed when taking all growth stages into account. Using an ex-vivo approach, we tested whether the expression of GAPDH, TUB, R6046 and APRT (Bd) and GAPDH, TUB, R6046 and α-centractin (Bsal) remained stable when these fungi came in contact with host tissue. Finally, their role as in vivo reference genes was examined in skin tissue of experimentally infected midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) (Bd) and fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) (Bsal). Summarized, the present study provides guidance for selecting appropriate reference genes when analyzing expression patterns of these fungal organisms during different growth stages and in Bd- or Bsal-infected tissues.

  • Skin mucosome activity as an indicator of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans susceptibility in salamanders.
    PLOS ONE, 2018
    Co-Authors: Hannah Keely Smith, Frank Pasmans, Maarten Dhaenens, Dieter Deforce, Dries Bonte, Kris Verheyen, Luc Lens, An Martel

    Abstract:

    Recently emerged fungal diseases, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) are an increasing threat to amphibians worldwide. In Europe, the threat of Bsal to salamander populations is demonstrated by the rapid decline of fire salamander populations in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. Although most European urodelans are susceptible to infection in infection trials, recent evidence suggests marked interspecific differences in the course of infection, with potentially far reaching implications for salamander conservation. As a salamander’s skin is the first line of defense against such pathogens, interspecific differences in innate immune function of the skin may explain differential susceptibility. Here we investigate if compounds present on a salamander’s skin can kill Bsal spores and if there is variation among species. We used a non-invasive assay to compare killing ability of salamander mucosomes of four different species (captive and wild Salamandra salamandra and captive Ichtyosaura alpestris, Cynops pyrrhogaster and Lissotriton helveticus) by exposing Bsal zoospores to salamander mucosomes and determining spore survival. In all samples, zoospores were killed when exposed to mucosomes. Moreover, we saw a significant variation in this Bsal killing ability of mucosomes between different salamander host species. Our results indicate that mucosomes of salamanders might provide crucial skin protection against Bsal, and could explain why some species are more susceptible than others. This study represents a step towards better understanding host species variation in innate immune function and disease susceptibility in amphibians.

Matthew C. Fisher – 2nd expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • emerging pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis widely infect amphibians in China
    , 2020
    Co-Authors: Matthew C. Fisher, Trenton W. J. Garner, Yiming Li

    Abstract:

    Aim Panzootic chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is the proximate cause of rapid amphibian declines across diverse biomes. While the origin of Bd remains unclear, increasingly the global trade in amphibians is associated with the spread of the infection. Global samples of Bd genotypes from previously unsampled regions are essential to test this hypothesis. In this paper, we present a study of the prevalence and phylogeny of Bd in both invasive and native amphibian species in markets and in the wild in ten provinces of China.

  • Mitigating Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe
    Amphibia-reptilia, 2020
    Co-Authors: Valarie Thomas, Matthew C. Fisher, Trenton W. J. Garner, Andrew A Cunningham, Jaime Bosch, Pascale Van Rooij, Vojtech Baláž, Yu Wang, Elin Verbrugghe, Maarten J. Gilbert

    Abstract:

    The infectious chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) has been responsible for severe population declines of salamander populations in Europe. Serious population declines and loss of urodelan diversity may occur if appropriate action is not taken to mitigate against the further spread and impact of Bsal. We provide an overview of several potential mitigation methods, and describe their possible advantages and limitations. We conclude that long-term, context-dependent, multi-faceted approaches are needed to successfully mitigate adverse effects of Bsal, and that these approaches should be initiated pre-arrival of the pathogen. The establishment of ex situ assurance colonies, or management units, for species threatened with extinction, should be considered as soon as possible. While ex situ conservation and preventive measures aimed at improving biosecurity by limiting amphibian trade may be implemented quickly, major challenges that lie ahead are in designing in situ disease containment and mitigation post-arrival and in increasing public awareness.

  • Mitigating Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe: supplementary material
    , 2019
    Co-Authors: Valarie Thomas, Matthew C. Fisher, Trenton W. J. Garner, Andrew A Cunningham, Jaime Bosch, Pascale Van Rooij, Vojtech Baláž, Yu Wang, Elin Verbrugghe, Maarten J. Gilbert

    Abstract:

    The
    infectious chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium
    salamandrivorans (Bsal) has been responsible for severe population declines of
    salamander populations in Europe. Serious population declines and loss of
    urodelan diversity may occur if appropriate action is not taken to mitigate
    against the further spread and impact of Bsal.
    We provide an overview of several potential mitigation methods, and describe
    their possible advantages and limitations. We conclude that long-term,
    context-dependent, multi-faceted approaches are needed to successfully mitigate
    adverse effects of Bsal, and that
    these approaches should be initiated pre-arrival of the pathogen. The
    establishment of ex situ assurance
    colonies, or management units, for species threatened with extinction, should
    be considered as soon as possible. While ex
    situ conservation and preventive measures aimed at improving biosecurity by
    limiting amphibian trade may be implemented quickly, major challenges that lie
    ahead are in designing in situ
    disease containment and mitigation post-arrival and in increasing public
    awareness.

Frank Pasmans – 3rd expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • Clinically healthy amphibians in captive collections and at pet fairs: A reservoir of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
    Amphibia-reptilia, 2020
    Co-Authors: Annemarieke Spitzen-van Der Sluijs, An Martel, Emma Wombwell, Pascale Van Rooij, Ronald Zollinger, Tonnie Woeltjes, Matthew Rendle, Freddy Haesebrouck, Frank Pasmans

    Abstract:

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is the cause of the fungal disease chytridiomycosis, a potentially lethal skin disease of amphibians. Asymptomatically infected amphibians may pose a risk for environmental pathogen pollution. This study therefore assessed the role of healthy, captive amphibians as a reservoir of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Samples were collected from captive amphibians in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France (559 from anurans, 330 from urodelans and 4 from gymnophians) from private owners, zoos, and laboratories. In addition to which, 78 anurans from 19 living collections were sampled during a pet fair in the Netherlands. Nearly 3% of the captive amphibians were infected by B. dendrobatidis, and 13.6% of the collections yielded at least one positive result. At the fair, 7 out of 78 anurans, representing 2 collections were positive. None of the animals that tested positive showed any obvious health problems at the time of sampling. Our results demonstrate the potential of the amphibian pet trade as a vehicle for the spread of B. dendrobatidis.

  • Reference gene screening of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans for quantitative real-time PCR studies.
    Scientific Reports, 2019
    Co-Authors: Elin Verbrugghe, Frank Pasmans, An Martel

    Abstract:

    Real-time quantitative PCR studies largely depend on reference genes for the normalization of gene expression. Stable reference genes should be accurately selected in order to obtain reliable results. We here present a study screening commonly used reference genes (TEF1F, α-centractin, Ctsyn1, GAPDH, R6046, APRT and TUB) in the chytrid fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), which cause the lethal amphibian skin disease chytridiomycosis. We evaluated the stability of the reference gene candidates during different growth stages of the fungi, using different statistical software packages: ΔCT, BestKeeper, GeNorm, NormFinder and RefFinder. In order to reflect the in vivo situation, the stability of the candidates was assessed when taking all growth stages into account. Using an ex-vivo approach, we tested whether the expression of GAPDH, TUB, R6046 and APRT (Bd) and GAPDH, TUB, R6046 and α-centractin (Bsal) remained stable when these fungi came in contact with host tissue. Finally, their role as in vivo reference genes was examined in skin tissue of experimentally infected midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) (Bd) and fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) (Bsal). Summarized, the present study provides guidance for selecting appropriate reference genes when analyzing expression patterns of these fungal organisms during different growth stages and in Bd- or Bsal-infected tissues.

  • Skin mucosome activity as an indicator of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans susceptibility in salamanders.
    PLOS ONE, 2018
    Co-Authors: Hannah Keely Smith, Frank Pasmans, Maarten Dhaenens, Dieter Deforce, Dries Bonte, Kris Verheyen, Luc Lens, An Martel

    Abstract:

    Recently emerged fungal diseases, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) are an increasing threat to amphibians worldwide. In Europe, the threat of Bsal to salamander populations is demonstrated by the rapid decline of fire salamander populations in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. Although most European urodelans are susceptible to infection in infection trials, recent evidence suggests marked interspecific differences in the course of infection, with potentially far reaching implications for salamander conservation. As a salamander’s skin is the first line of defense against such pathogens, interspecific differences in innate immune function of the skin may explain differential susceptibility. Here we investigate if compounds present on a salamander’s skin can kill Bsal spores and if there is variation among species. We used a non-invasive assay to compare killing ability of salamander mucosomes of four different species (captive and wild Salamandra salamandra and captive Ichtyosaura alpestris, Cynops pyrrhogaster and Lissotriton helveticus) by exposing Bsal zoospores to salamander mucosomes and determining spore survival. In all samples, zoospores were killed when exposed to mucosomes. Moreover, we saw a significant variation in this Bsal killing ability of mucosomes between different salamander host species. Our results indicate that mucosomes of salamanders might provide crucial skin protection against Bsal, and could explain why some species are more susceptible than others. This study represents a step towards better understanding host species variation in innate immune function and disease susceptibility in amphibians.