Pathogenic lineage of Perkinsea causes mass mortality of frogs across the United States

Authors: Marcos Isidoro-Ayza; Jeffrey M Lorch; D A Grear; Megan E Winzeler; Daniel L Calhoun; William J Barichivich
Contribution Number: 587


Emerging infectious diseases such as chytridiomycosis and ranavirus infections are considered important contributors to the worldwide decline of amphibian populations. We reviewed data on 247 anuran mortality events in 43 states of the United States from 1999 ? 2015. Our findings suggest that a severe infectious disease of tadpoles caused by a protist belonging to the phylum Perkinsea might represent the third most common infectious disease of anurans after ranavirus infections and chytridiomycosis. Severe Perkinsea infections (SPI) were systemic and led to multiorganic failure and death. The SPI mortality events affected numerous anuran species and occurred over a broad geographic area, from boreal to subtropical habitats. Livers from all PCR-tested SPI-tadpoles were positive for the Novel Alveolate Group 01 (NAG01) of Perkinsea, while only 2.5% of apparently normal tadpole livers tested positive, suggesting that subclinical infections are uncommon. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that SPI is associated with a genetically distinct clade of NAG01 Perkinsea. These data suggest that this virulent Perkinsea clade is an important pathogen of frogs in the United States. Given its association with mortality events and tendency to be overlooked, the potential role of this emerging pathogen in amphibian declines on a broad geographic scale warrants further investigation

Publication details
Published Date: 2017-08-31
Outlet/Publisher: Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 10288
Media Format:

ARMI Organizational Units:
Pacific Northwest - Biology
Southeast - Biology
National Wildlife Health Center
Southeast - Water
Place Names:
Alabama; Alaska; California; Florida; Georgia; Iowa; Louisiana; Maryland; Minnesota; New York; Oregon; South Carolina; Virginia; Washington
amphibians; Chytridiomycosis; disease; parasite; pathogen; Ranavirus
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