Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Shiver Bd! The Mitigators are coming!

Interest and excitement is gathering around the concept of mitigating the lethal effects of Bd by either reducing the threshold burden of infection, or by completely removing Bd from key infected environments. The Zurich Bd mitigation workshop was the first global meeting to address potential mitigation strategies by sharing experience and data, and planning new approaches as well as collaborations. Approaches that were considered in the workshop varied from (i) manipulating pre-epizootic host density; (ii) bioaugmentation with Bd-cidal probiotic bacteria; (iii) antifungal approaches to treating hosts and habitats; (iv) immunisation using recently-discovered hyovirulent/avirulent strains of Bd, or other vaccine technologies; (v) biocontrol with copepods or other zoospore-predators and (vi) ex-situ captive breeding followed by re-introduction with individuals that have undergone 'assisted evolution'. From the meeting, it was clear that not only are there many approaches that can be used, but also several ongoing programs. Indeed, the title for this post is the slogan coined by Jaime Bosch for his new Santander 'Zero' mitigation grant focusing on removing Bd from Mallorca and Alytes muletensis. Indeed, perhaps the time has come to 'Shiver Bd; the mitigators are coming!'. We anticipate appropriate mugs and T-shirts to appear in CafePress soon so stay tuned.....

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