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All about Chytrid
15 Years of Chytrid experience

Globalising Chytrid: with unexpected consequences: Dr Arthur White, President of the NSW Frog and Tadpole Study Group (FATS), looks at what is happening with Chytrid, a disease that has claimed six species of Australian frog with another 40 at risk. In spite of an Australian team discovering why the organism became deadly to our frogs in recent decades, we have been slow to set up recovery or breeding programs for species at particular risk. A form of chytrid has been in Australia for at least 10,000 years. The Chytrid organism is a relatively common fungus that occurs in soil but is normally benign. People carry Chytrid but with minimal effects. Chytrid is now a highly infectious disease that only affects amphibians and is caused by a single cell fungus which penetrates the skin of frogs and tadpoles, eventually killing them. It can be spread by anything that is wet, like mud on cars or wet hands. Humans seem to be the main vector for the spreading of Chytrid between frog populations. As a result of globalisation and rapid international travel, Chytrid became a worldwide problem from the1970s. How people handle frogs and move through wetlands has changed dramatically as a result of Chitrid and there are sterilisation processes for gear and equipment used in handling frogs. Geneticists are looking at ways to detect the presence of Chytrid on people. In the future it may well be that Chytrid control mechanisms will be coupled with human hygiene procedures that are adopted at airports and shipping lines. Some Australian ground frogs are resistant to Chytrid and cane toads carry it but don’t die from it. Genetic research is being done to see how the toad’s immune response prevents Chytrid from spreading throughout its body and if there is a way of increasing resistance of native frogs. Frogs in the wild need a mechanism to protect themselves and the best way is to be genetically resistant.
Pondering the ponds on Ash Island

The decline in populations of the iconic Green and Golden Bell frog across New South Wales is well known. Dr Arthur White, President of the NSW Frog and Tadpole Study Group is enthusiastic about a new project that could assist the iconic Green and Golden Bell Frog.
Chytrid and globalisation: another leap forward

Dr Arthur White, President of the NSW Frog and Tadpoles study group looks at  the recent groundbreaking workby Dr Lee Berger from James Cook University, on the chytrid fungus in frogs. Dr Burger was the first person to demonstrate that the chytrid fungus was not only the cause of disease in native frogs but was a world-wide pathogen that affected frogs throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
The Corroboree Frog

Frog Leap: Dr Arthur White explains efforts to locate possible environments for captive bred Corroboree frogs, a native of the Snowy Mountains.
Killing chytrid with a commercially available disinfectant

James Cook University scientists have found that two new commercially available disinfectants can kill the deadly chytrid fungus that has swept through Australian frog populations with disastrous results

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