Occurrence of Pathogenic Chytrid Fungi Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the Hong Kong Newt (Paramesotriton hongkongensis) and Other Wild and Imported Amphibians in a Subtropical Asian Region

Guoling CHEN, Anthony LAU, Bowen WAN, Emily Shui Kei POON, Hon Shing FUNG, Wing Ho LEE, Yik Hei SUNG, Simon Yung Wa SIN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

Abstract

One of the major threats for the massive loss in global amphibian diversity is chytridiomycosis, caused by chytrid fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and B. salamandrivorans (Bsal). Following its discovery in 2013, Bsal has emerged as a severe threat to the global survival of urodelans. In 2018, a study reported a high prevalence of Bsal (65.6%) in the Hong Kong newts (Paramesotriton hongkongensis, Near Threatened) of a southern China population adjacent to Hong Kong (HK). Uncertainty regarding the Bsal infection status of P. hongkongensis inhabiting HK raised deep concern over the risk of introducing Bsal from that population. We screened the skin swabs from wild individuals of P. hongkongensis, 15 sympatric amphibian species, and 16 imported amphibian species in HK for chytrids. We found that both Bsal and Bd occur in low prevalences in P. hongkongensis (Bsal 1.7%, 5/293; Bd 0.34%, 1/293), Hong Kong cascade frog, Amolops hongkongensis, family Ranidae (Bsal only, 5.26%, 1/19), and Asian common toad, Duttaphrynus melanostictus, family Bufonidae (Bsal only, 5.88%, 1/17), populations of HK, with infected individuals being asymptomatic, suggesting a potential role of these species as reservoirs of Bsal. Conversely, Bd, but not Bsal, was present on 13.2% (9/68) of imported amphibians, indicating a high chytrid introduction risk posed by international amphibian trade. Long-term surveillance of the presence of Bd and Bsal in wild and captive amphibians would be advisable, and we recommend that import and export of nonnative chytrid carriers should be prevented, especially to those regions with amphibian populations naïve to Bd and Bsal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-721
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Wildlife Diseases
Volume59
Issue number4
Early online date24 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Wildlife Disease Association 2023.

Keywords

  • Bd
  • Bsal
  • Amphibian disease
  • chytrid fungal pathogen reservoir
  • chytridiomycosis
  • Salamander

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Occurrence of Pathogenic Chytrid Fungi Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the Hong Kong Newt (Paramesotriton hongkongensis) and Other Wild and Imported Amphibians in a Subtropical Asian Region'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this