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Title: Low disease-causing threshold in a frog species susceptible to chytridiomycosis
Contributor(s): Stockwell, Michelle P (author); Garnham, James I (author); Bower, Deborah S  (author); Clulow, John (author); Mahony, Michael J (author)
Publication Date: 2016-06
Early Online Version: 2016-04-25
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1093/femsle/fnw111Open Access Link
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Abstract: A simple diagnosis of the presence or absence of an infection is an uninformative metric when individuals differ considerably in their tolerance to different infection loads or resistance to rates of disease progression. Models that incorporate the relationship between the progression of the infection with the potential alternate outcomes provide a far more powerful predictive tool than diagnosis alone. The global decline of amphibians has been amplified by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a pathogen that can cause the fatal disease chytridiomycosis. We measured the infection load and observed signs of disease in Litoria aurea. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to quantify the dissimilarity between the infection loads of L. aurea that showed signs associated with chytridiomycosis and those that did not. Litoria aurea had a 78% probability of developing chytridiomycosis past a threshold of 68 zoospore equivalents (ZE) per swab and chytridiomycosis occurred within a variable range of 0.5–490 ZE. Studies should incorporate a species-specific threshold as a predictor of chytridiomycosis, rather than a binary diagnosis. Measures of susceptibility to chytridiomycosis must account not only for the ability of B. dendrobatidis to increase its abundance on the skin of amphibians but also to determine how each species tolerates these infection loads.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Grant Details: ARC/LP0989459
Source of Publication: FEMS Microbiology Letters, 363(12), p. 1-6
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0378-1097
Field of Research (FOR): 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
060504 Microbial Ecology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 960807 Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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