Pathogens of wildlife can have direct impacts on human and livestock health as well as on biodiversity, as causative factors in population declines and extinctions. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) seeks to facilitate rapid sharing of information about animal diseases to enable up-to-date risk assessments of translocations of animals and animal products. The OIE also produces manuals of recommended methods to standardize diagnostic testing. Ranaviruses are important amphibian pathogens that may have spread through international trade, and infections became notifiable to OIE in 2009. We surveyed and reviewed published literature for data on sampling, diagnostic testing, and reporting of ranavirus during 2009–14. We also investigated attitudes and awareness of the OIE and its recommendations for best practice. We found that sampling effort is uneven and concentrated in the northern hemisphere. We also identified citizen science projects that have the potential to improve the quantity and quality of data on the incidence of ranavirus infection and the circumstances surrounding disease outbreaks. We found reporting of infection to be inconsistent: reporting was split between the published literature (where it was subject to a 2-yr lag) and the OIE with little overlap, results of negative diagnostic tests were underreported, and scientific researchers lacked awareness of the role of the OIE. Approaches to diagnostic screening were poorly harmonized and heavily reliant on molecular methods. These flaws in the mechanisms of ranavirus detection and reporting hamper the construction of a comprehensive disease information database.
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Vol. 53 • No. 3