Coinfection with chytrid genotypes drives divergent infection dynamics reflecting regional distribution patterns

Tamilie Carvalho, Daniel Medina, Luisa P. Ribeiro, David Rodriguez, Thomas S. Jenkinson, C. Guilherme Becker, Luís Felipe Toledo, Jessica L. Hite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


By altering the abundance, diversity, and distribution of species—and their pathogens—globalization may inadvertently select for more virulent pathogens. In Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, a hotspot of amphibian biodiversity, the global amphibian trade has facilitated the co-occurrence of previously isolated enzootic and panzootic lineages of the pathogenic amphibian-chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, ‘Bd’) and generated new virulent recombinant genotypes (‘hybrids’). Epidemiological data indicate that amphibian declines are most severe in hybrid zones, suggesting that coinfections are causing more severe infections or selecting for higher virulence. We investigated how coinfections involving these genotypes shapes virulence and transmission. Overall, coinfection favored the more virulent and competitively superior panzootic genotype, despite dampening its transmission potential and overall virulence. However, for the least virulent and least competitive genotype, coinfection increased both overall virulence and transmission. Thus, by integrating experimental and epidemiological data, our results provide mechanistic insight into how globalization can select for, and propel, the emergence of introduced hypervirulent lineages, such as the globally distributed panzootic lineage of Bd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number941
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences

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