Amphibian populations are declining globally, yet general pathologic surveys for free-ranging amphibians are uncommon. Pathologic surveys are necessary to provide insight into the impacts of humans on emergence of pathogens in amphibian populations. During 2005, 104 American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) and 80 green frog (Rana clamitans) larvae and 40 green frog juveniles were collected from farm ponds in Tennessee, and complete necropsies were performed. Diagnostic testing included bacterial culture, virus testing, fecal parasite analysis, and histologic examination. Gross and histologic examination revealed that all individuals, except one bullfrog tadpole, could be classified as clinically normal. The clinically abnormal tadpole had swollen erythemic legs, and was positive for Aeromonas hydrophila but negative for Ranavirus. Parasites were common (43%) among specimens, with myxosporidium and trematodes most often noted. Commensal and opportunistic microorganisms were cultured from the tissues. Ranavirus was detected in 29% of individuals but generally not associated with significant histopathologic changes. Myxosporidia and Ranavirus coinfections occurred in 7 and 26% of green and bullfrog tadpoles, respectively, with the highest coinfection rate (83%) in bullfrog tadpoles during winter. Protozoans were most common in fecal examination. These data can serve as a baseline to evaluate the presence of clinical disease in larval and juvenile amphibians.
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Vol. 45 • No. 2