Experimental transmission of the fungus Basidiobolus ranarum was induced in two treatment groups of Canadian toads (Bufo hemiophrys) and caused a fatal mycotic dermatitis. Seven of 10 (70%) toads that had their ventral skin mildly abraded and exposed to B. ranarum developed hyperemia, and sloughing of their ventral skin and died. Toads with abraded ventral skin or exposure to infected skin also were affected statistically at a higher rate than those with abraded skin and exposure to pure cultures of B. ranarum innoculated into their water source. Of toads showing clinical disease, B. ranarum was identified by both impression smears and histology in all cases, but not from toads that appeared clinically healthy. The organism was cultured from 5 of 7 (71%) toads with clinical disease but not from any toad that appeared clinically healthy (n = 28). This study documents methods of experimental transmission of B. ranarum, an organism responsible for causing a mycotic dermatitis that is fatal to toads.
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Vol. 35 • No. 1