Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans is an emerging fungus that is causing salamander declines in Europe. We evaluated whether an invasive frog species (Cuban treefrog, Osteopilus septentrionalis) that is found in international trade could be an asymptomatic carrier when exposed to zoospore doses known to infect salamanders. We discovered that Cuban treefrogs could be infected with B. salamandrivorans and, surprisingly, that chytridiomycosis developed in animals at the two highest zoospore doses. To fulfill Koch's postulates, we isolated B. salamandrivorans from infected frogs, exposed eastern newts (Notophthalmus viridescens) to the isolate, and verified infection and disease by histopathology. This experiment represents the first documentation of B. salamandrivorans chytridiomycosis in a frog species and substantially expands the conservation threat and possible mobilization of this pathogen in trade.
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Vol. 57 • No. 4