First detection of the emerging fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Germany

Joana Sabino-Pinto, Molly Bletz, Ralf Hendrix, R. G.Bina Perl, An Martel, Frank Pasmans, Stefan Lötters, Frank Mutschmann, Dirk S. Schmeller, Benedikt R. Schmidt, Michael Veith, Norman Wagner, Miguel Vences, Sebastian Steinfartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is one of the major factors triggering global amphibian declines. A recently discovered species of chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans( Bsal), likely originated in East Asia, has led to massive declines in populations of fire salamanders ( Salamandra salamandra) after its apparent introduction to the Netherlands and Belgium. Here, we report the first detection of this pathogen in Germany where it caused mass mortality of fire salamanders in a captive collection. Salamanders from this collection showed an almost 100% prevalence of infection with Bsal. Supposed Bsal-induced mortality occurred in multiple Salamandraspecies ( S. salamandra, S. algira, S. corsica, and S. infraimmaculata), while Bsalinfection was confirmed in nine subspecies of S. salamandraand in S. algira. Our study indicates that this pathogen can potentially infect all fire salamander species and subspecies. If Bsalspreads from captive collections to wild populations, then a similar devastating effect associated with high mortality should be expected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-416
Number of pages6
JournalAmphibia Reptilia
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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