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1 September 2013 A SURVEY FOR BATRACHOCHYTRIUM DENDROBATIDIS IN ENDANGERED AND HIGHLY SUSCEPTIBLE VIETNAMESE SALAMANDERS (TYLOTOTRITON SPP.)
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Abstract

Until now, Asian amphibians appear to have largely escaped declines driven by chytridiomycosis. Vietnamese salamanders that belong to the genus Tylototriton are rare and have a patchy distribution in mountainous areas, falling within the proposed environmental envelope of chytrid infections, surrounded by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infected regions. If these salamanders are susceptible to chytridiomycosis, then their populations could be highly vulnerable after the introduction of B. dendrobatidis. Examination for the presence of the chytrid fungus in skin swabs from 19 Tylototriton asperrimus and 104 Tylototriton vietnamensis by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed. Susceptibility of T. asperrimus to experimental infection by using the global panzootic lineage (BdGPL) strain of B. dendrobatidis was examined. The fungus was absent in all samples from all wild salamanders examined. Inoculation with the BdGPL strain resulted in mortality of all five inoculated salamanders within 3 weeks after inoculation with infected animals that manifested severe orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis, epidermal hyperplasia, and spongiosis. Although infection by B. dendrobatidis currently appears absent in Vietnamese Tylototriton populations, the rarity of these animals, their pronounced susceptibility to chytridiomycosis, an apparently suitable environmental context and increasing likelihood of the pathogen being introduced, together suggest the need of urgent measures to avoid future scenarios of extinction as witnessed in Central America and Australia.

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Tao Nguyen Thien, An Martel, Melanie Brutyn, Sergé Bogaerts, Max Sparreboom, Freddy Haesebrouck, Matthew C. Fisher, Wouter Beukema, Tang Duong Van, Koen Chiers, and Frank Pasmans "A SURVEY FOR BATRACHOCHYTRIUM DENDROBATIDIS IN ENDANGERED AND HIGHLY SUSCEPTIBLE VIETNAMESE SALAMANDERS (TYLOTOTRITON SPP.)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 44(3), 627-633, (1 September 2013). https://doi.org/10.1638/2012-0181R.1
Received: 17 August 2012; Published: 1 September 2013
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