View Full Version : Xenopus: possible origin of chitrid fungus

8th December 2004, 04:56
I never thought I'd find myself posting in the frog forum, but here goes. For those that don't know, chitrid fungus is thought to be responsible for many cases of amphibian decline.

The Center for North American Herpetology
Lawrence, Kansas
7 December 2004

Article Title: Origin of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus

Authors: Ché Weldon, Louis H. du Preez, Alex D. Hyatt, Reinhold Muller, and Rick

Where published: Emerging Infectious Diseases 10(12): 2100-2105 (2004)

Abstract: The sudden appearance of chytridiomycosis, the cause of amphibian
deaths and population declines in several continents, suggests that its etiologic
agent, the chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, was introduced into the
affected regions. However, the origin of this virulent pathogen is unknown. A
survey was conducted of 697 archived specimens of 3 species of Xenopus
collected from 1879 to 1999 in southern Africa in which the histologic features
of the interdigital webbing were analyzed. The earliest case of chytridiomycosis
found was in a Xenopus laevis frog in 1938, and overall prevalence was 2.7%. The
prevalence showed no significant differences between species, regions, season,
or time period. Chytridiomycosis was a stable endemic infection in southern
Africa for 23 years before any positive specimen was found outside Africa. We
propose that Africa is the origin of the amphibian chytrid and that the
international trade in X. laevis that began in the mid-1930s was the means of

8th December 2004, 06:14
Wow, I can sort of believe it, but at the same time has Xenopus really been released or been in contact with all of the places where Chytridiomycosis has been found?

8th December 2004, 11:09
you can hear an explanation on this page: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4183961

8th December 2004, 16:27
Huh, I forgot about the whole pregnancy test thing. Well, I guess if the fungus stays away from settled areas it only gives us more reason to try our best at captive breeding everything http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/biggrin.gif

8th December 2004, 23:47
It does invade into the settled areas. Chytrid can be found in many regions of many countries at this point. I forget the location but it had now been documented from Asia.


31st December 2004, 03:05
You can now download the whole article as a PDF:http://www.cnah.org/cnah_pdf.asp