Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) not detected in an intensive survey of wild North American amphibians

Scientific Reports
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The salamander chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans [Bsal]) is causing massive mortality of salamanders in Europe. The potential for spread via international trade into North America and the high diversity of salamanders has catalyzed concern about Bsal in the U.S. Surveillance programs for invading pathogens must initially meet challenges that include low rates of occurrence on the landscape, low prevalence at a site, and imperfect detection of the diagnostic tests. We implemented a large-scale survey to determine if Bsal was present in North America designed to target taxa and localities where Bsal was determined highest risk to be present based on species susceptibility and geography. Our analysis included a Bayesian model to estimate the probability of occurrence of Bsal given our prior knowledge of the occurrence and prevalence of the pathogen. We failed to detect Bsal in any of 11,189 samples from 594 sites in 223 counties within 35 U.S. states and one site in Mexico. Our modeling indicates that Bsal is highly unlikely to occur within wild amphibians in the U.S. and suggests that the best proactive response is to continue mitigation efforts against the introduction and establishment of the disease and to develop plans to reduce impacts should Bsal establish.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) not detected in an intensive survey of wild North American amphibians
Series title Scientific Reports
DOI 10.1038/s41598-020-69486-x
Volume 10
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher Nature
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, Western Ecological Research Center, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 13012, 7 p.
Country United States
Other Geospatial Continental United States
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