The funding organisation BiodiverERsA has funded a new EU Network to investigate the emergence of Bd in Europe. RACE (Risk Assessment of Chytridiomycosis to European Amphibians) has been awarded 2,258,000 € to implement the first pan-European attempt to mitigate disease. The project aims to (i) identify the natural and anthropogenic drivers of chytridiomycosis in Europe (ii) improve national and pan-European competence in surveillance and diagnosis and to determine the geographic scope of the problem by developing laboratory diagnostic facilities and a state-of-the-art surveillance framework (iii) acquire field-data on the prevalence, intensity and timing of infection/mortalities and (iv) to develop spatial-genetic information and to integrate these into the global genotype dataset to identify the timing, and frequency, of Bd introduction(s) into Europe, as well as assessing the differential virulence of genotypes.
The data and scientific outputs produced by RACE will be used to develop a standardised EU-wide monitoring scheme by disseminating information to national and international stakeholders and by building collaborations in under-surveyed countries; these approaches will be formalised into a European Threat Abatement Plan (ETAP). The kick-off meeting for RACE is in Moulis, the French Pyrenees, in March 2009.
RACE is composed of a core group of laboratories in the UK, France, Spain, Germany and Switzerland. However, a core goal of RACE is to capacity build outside of these core-countries and research groups. Interest in RACE, and participation, are warmly welcomed; contact Matthew Fisher (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Trent Garner (email@example.com) for further information.