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Concerns With Methods Used for Detecting Bsal from Archived DNA of Amphibians

The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is implicated in salamander die-offs in Europe and was found to be lethal to multiple U.S. salamander species in a laboratory experiment. In 2015, researchers analyzed archived DNA extracted from amphibians in 2012 for the presence of Bsal: 385 samples from salamanders and 797 samples from frogs. Two samples – an adult rough-skinned newt and an American bullfrog larva – had PCR-positive results using one method of detection, but they could not confirm the finding using additional analyses. In the paper, they detail their methods and results of analyses and discuss implications for future studies and monitoring projects. Their intent was to document important lessons-learned for other Bsal investigations due to the high-priority of researching this emerging infectious disease in North America and elsewhere.

Iwanowicz, D.D., Schill, W.B., Olson, D.H., Adams, M.J., Densmore, C., Cornman, R.S., Adams, C., Figiel, Jr., C., Anderson, C.W., Blaustein, A.R., Chestnut, T., 2017, Potential concerns with analytical methods used for the detection of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans from archived DNA of amphibian swab samples, Oregon, USA: Herpetological Review, v. 48, no. 2, p. 352-355. [Details]

Contact: Michael Adams, FRESC, 541-750-0980, Profile

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