Thursday, 23 June 2011
UV-B lowers the prevalence of Bd infection
Spanish and UK researchers have shown that common toad tadpoles shielded from environmental UV-B radiation have a higher prevalence of infection compared to animals that were exposed to natural levels of UV-B. This association was also observed for the European midwife Alytes, where the prevalence of infection across the Iberian peninsula was inversly correlated with the intensity of natural UV-B. While it is not known why this inverse association occurs the research, published in Conservation Biology, suggests that increasing UVB may affect host behaviour, making transmission of Bd more unlikely, or may stimulate natural the antimicrobial properties of amphibians to reduce infection rates. The research illustrates the importance of considering multiple stressors when analyzing the complex ecological dynamics of infection by Bd.