Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Chytridiomycosis in Anuran Amphibians of Colombia

Ruiz, Angélica; Rueda-Almonacid, José
March 2008
EcoHealth;Mar2008, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p27
Academic Journal
In order to investigate the possible presence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Chytridiomycota: Chytridiales) in frogs (Amphibia: Anura) of Colombia, we made a retrospective examination of formalin-fixed specimens preserved in natural history collections. Using the staining technique of hematoxylin and eosin to identify B. dendrobatidis in histological slices, we found evidence of the fungus in 3 of the 53 frog species examined from a total of 672 specimens collected in 17 departments within Colombia between 1968 and 2006. The infected specimens were found dead or dying in recent years in high elevation sites, suggesting that chytridiomycosis (the disease caused by the fungus) may represent a significant threat to Colombian amphibians. We conclude that a more extensive search for B. dendrobatidis in museum specimens and wild-caught frogs should be undertaken as soon as possible, using both histological and molecular genetic techniques, in order to further characterize the geographic and taxonomic extent of infections of B. dendrobatidis.


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