From May 2007 to June 2008, 30 of 49 Wyoming toads (Bufo baxteri) kept at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo (Nebraska, USA) died showing clinical signs of ventral erythema, inappetance, lethargy, and delayed righting reflex. Treatment with antifungals and antibiotics was unsuccessful in all cases. Histopathologic analyses revealed dermatitis as the primary problem in 20 of 21 toads in which skin was examined. Fungal dermatitis was present in 17 toads, with hyphae approximately 1–3 μm in diameter, and parallel cell walls and frequent septations. In 14 animals, the fungal dermatitis was the main pathologic lesion. Several species of bacteria were associated with all cases. A few animals tested positive for Ranavirus using polymerase chain reaction. Fusarium sp. was consistently cultured from skin, feces, kidneys, and from powdered food provided to crickets. Four isolates were identified as Fusarium proliferatum, Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium solani, and Fusarium verticillioides, which suggested a secondary role of fungi. A specific underlying cause of disease could not be found, although the roles of humidity and Ranavirus infection are discussed, along with the well-known susceptibility of bufonids to fungal dermatitis.
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Vol. 46 • No. 4