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Title: Interaction between temperature and sublethal infection with the amphibian chytrid fungus impacts a susceptible frog species
Contributor(s): Campbell, Lachlan (author); Bower, Deborah S  (author); Clulow, Simon (author); Stockwell, Michelle (author); Clulow, John (author); Mahony, Michael (author)
Publication Date: 2019-01-14
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-35874-7
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Abstract: The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is an emerging infectious pathogen present on every continent except Antarctica. It causes the disease chytridiomycosis in a subset of species but does not always result in disease or death for every host. Ambient temperature influences both amphibian metabolism and chytrid pathogenicity, however the interactive effects on host physiology is not well understood. We investigated the sublethal effect of B. dendrobatidis infection on a susceptible host, Litoria aurea to test (1) whether the infection load, metabolic activity, body fat and gonad size differed in L. aurea at either 24 °C or 12 °C ambient temperatures and (2) whether previous Bd infection caused long-term changes to body fat and gonad size. Litoria aurea in 12 °C treatments had higher infection loads of B. dendrobatidis and lower survivorship. Metabolic rate was higher and fat mass was lower in infected individuals and in animals in 24 °C treatments. Male L. aurea previously infected with B. dendrobatidis had smaller testes 5 months-post clearance of infection, an effect likely to translate to fitness costs in wild populations. These experiments demonstrate a physiological cost to sublethal B. dendrobatidis infection, which suggests a reduction in host fitness mediated by temperature in the host's environment regardless of whether infection leads to mortality.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Scientific Reports, v.9, p. 1-8
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 2045-2322
Field of Research (FOR): 060207 Population Ecology
060504 Microbial Ecology
060604 Comparative Physiology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 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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