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Trends Ecol Evol. 2010 Feb;25(2):109-18. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.07.011. Epub 2009 Oct 14.

The ecology and impact of chytridiomycosis: an emerging disease of amphibians.

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Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA.


Emerging infectious diseases are increasingly recognized as key threats to wildlife. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the causative agent of chytridiomycosis, has been implicated in widespread amphibian declines and is currently the largest infectious disease threat to biodiversity. Here, we review the causes of Bd emergence, its impact on amphibian populations and the ecology of Bd transmission. We describe studies to answer outstanding issues, including the origin of the pathogen, the effect of Bd relative to other causes of population declines, the modes of Bd dispersal, and factors influencing the intensity of its transmission. Chytridiomycosis is an archetypal emerging disease, with a broad host range and significant impacts on host populations and, as such, poses a crucial challenge for wildlife managers and an urgent conservation concern.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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