Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Infection and Lethal Chytridiomycosis in Caecilian Amphibians (Gymnophiona)

David J. Gower, Thomas Doherty-Bone, Simon P. Loader, Mark Wilkinson, Marcel T. Kouete, Benjamin Tapley, Frances Orton, Olivia Z. Daniel, Felicity Wynne, Edmund Flach, Hendrik Mueller, Michele Menegon, Ian Stephen, Robert K. Browne, Mathew C. Fisher, Andrew A. Cunningham, Trenton W. J. Garner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is commonly termed the ‘amphibian chytrid fungus’ but thus far has been documented to be a pathogen of only batrachian amphibians (anurans and caudatans). It is not proven to infect the limbless, generally poorly known, and mostly soil-dwelling caecilians (Gymnophiona). We conducted the largest qPCR survey of Bd in caecilians to date, for more than 200 field-swabbed specimens from five countries in Africa and South America, representing nearly 20 species, 12 genera, and 8 families. Positive results were recovered for 58 specimens from Tanzania and Cameroon (4 families, 6 genera, 6+ species). Quantities of Bd were not exceptionally high, with genomic equivalent (GE) values of 0.052–17.339. In addition, we report the first evidence of lethal chytridiomycosis in caecilians. Mortality in captive (wild-caught, commercial pet trade) Geotrypetes seraphini was associated with GE scores similar to those we detected for field-swabbed, wild animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-183
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Anura
  • Batrachia
  • Caudata
  • chytrid
  • pet trade
  • South America


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