April 16, 2012

Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in The News - Again

The American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) is currently raised on farms all over the world. Many of these farm-raised frogs are exported to other countries, frequently ending up in the U.S. It is now well-documented that bullfrogs on many of these farms are infected with the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; Bd). So, when the bullfrogs are exported so too is the Bd. Clearly, this could easily result in the spread of Bd and specific Bd strains to new areas. As a consequence, the pressure is increasing to restrict the export of these infected frogs. The New York Times recently published an informative article about this emerging and contentious issue. It remains to be seen whether the threat posed by the diseased frogs rises to a high enough level with the powers-that-be to override the cultural and economic concerns that surround this issue.

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