Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Deadly skin-eating fungus threatens Belgian Fire Salamander populations

Amphibians are globally threatened by dramatic population declines, which are in part driven by infectious diseases. Despite the well-known occurrence of several infectious amphibian diseases in Belgium, hitherto, they appear not to have significantly affected our native amphibian assemblages. A novel deadly fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, was discovered in 2012 and almost wiped out the fire salamander in the Netherlands. This fungus now has been found in a dying fire salamander in Eupen by researchers of Ghent University. The finding of the deadly fungus is highly worrisome, since it may be deleterious to the survival of native salamander populations, thus warranting close monitoring of the situation in Eupen and surrounding salamander populations. Contact: Prof. An Martel Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases Division for Poultry, Exotic Companion, Wildlife and Laboratory Animals 0496/831161 An.Martel (at) ugent.be; Prof. Dr. Frank Pasmans Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases Laboratory of Veterinary Bacteriology and Mycology 09/2647436 Frank.Pasmans (at) ugent.be

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