Amphibian Chytridiomycosis with Agent-Host-Environment Approach

OIE Scientific and Technical Review on Amphibian Chytridiomycosis with Agent-Host-Environment Approach.


Despite recent concern in animals as the sources of new infectious diseases, the importance of wildlife-livestock environments in disease ecosystems has generally been underestimated. Scoping analysis approaches were applied to objectively determine the relative concern by the science community in infectious diseases at environments between wildlife and livestock, classify animal species and regions concerned, and define patterns over time. Researchers may trace these patterns to essential incidents that increased widespread attention and support for science. The bulk of the top ten diseases reported in this study were zoonoses. Many of the associations between phylogenetically closely associated and sympatric organisms culminated in prominent wildlife-livestock interfaces. The interface between birds and oxen was the world’s most often mentioned wildlife interface, with other interfaces representing regional circumstances. This review intends to give a cutting edge in host-pathogen interactions to present literature on infectious diseases at the wildlife-livestock interaction covering two infectious diseases- Canine distemper virus affecting dogs and B. dendrobatidis affecting amphibians. We also identify fields in which more research is required or have not gained the recognition they deserve.

OIE Scientific and Technical Review on Amphibian Chytridiomycosis with Agent-Host-Environment Approach


The analysis of the environment of infectious diseases is ecological epidemiology. It provides population and Ecosystem relationship analyses between organisms and their pathogens and parasites and encompasses both human and wildlife conditions. Worldwide, amphibians are declining both in numbers and in the distribution field. The list of threatened organisms produced recently showed that above 40% of amphibians are in great extinction danger (Gascon, 2007). The decline factors pinpointed as environmental degradation, modification, and distortion, commercial overuse of aquarium and food trade, the inclusion of intrusive organisms, fungus disorders, and environmental perturbation (Brooks, 2016: pp1-4).

The sudden species mortality was observed in amphibian communities in vulnerable or protected areas, particularly in hotspots of wetlands, where amphibians have inexplicable reductions. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the chytridiomycete fungus identified on the amphibian peel, is found to be the chief source of such amphibian reductions (Berger, 1998: 9031-9036, Lips, 2006: pp3165-3170). This fungus disturbs and is often lethal to the essential properties of the skin, such as breathing and maintaining equilibrium (Campbell, 2012: 431-434). Chytridiomycosis has variable impacts on amphibian populations and also within one organism. While certain tolerant organisms can keep the pathogen levels below the deadly threshold and operate as carriers of the infectious agent, some are prone and develop the severe fatal disease (Searle, 2011: 965-974).

Almost everywhere amphibians are present B. dendrobatidis is also present (Fisher, 2009: 291-310). There was a steep and riddling decline in a threatened yet reliable number of salamanders in Europe, according to (Martel et al., 2012: 835-839). Just 4% of the population prevailed in 2013. Thus, neither B. dendrobatidis nor any recognized infectious amphibian pathogen may be due to fatalities. However, there was infection B. salamandrivorans found in the tissue of a salamander, which had died during the epidemic of the Netherlands (Spitzen et al., 2013: 233-239). This new fungus now causes epidemic infections in the neighboring countries in Europe (Mertel et al., 2013: 15325-15329).

Chytridiomycosis’s enormous effect on the amphibian ecosystems is sharply referred to as ‘the worst bacterial infection among amphibians regarding their amount and prone to extinction (Brooks, 2016: pp1-4). Notwithstanding this and the several experiments focused on its virulence factors, the diverse host-pathogenic relationships during infection remain far from known. Therefore, this analysis aims to draw an overall perspective regarding the host organism, the infectious Chytridiomycota pathogen, and environmental conditions to provide the reader an understandable rundown of the dynamic relationships between host and pathogen. Around the same time, this incentive allows for the integration of recent discoveries and identifying areas for potential study.

The causing pathogens

The major identified pathogen is called Chytridiomycota. This primary microscopic fungus has such a non-mycelial structure and is distinguished by mobile flagellates known as zoospores. Many chytrid species live in wet soil, and freshwater habitats and are essentially saprobic and parasitic to plants, algae, and invertebrates (Sabino-Pinto et al., 2015: 411-416 17, Longcore, 1999: 219-227). they usually attack vertebrate hosts and Ichthyochytrium vulgare (a particular parasite in the fish’s skinThey are classified in the rhizophydiales group at present. This non-pathogenic saprobic Homolaphlyctis polyrhiza is their nearest comparable. Nuclear protein-coding genes indicate that about 67.3 million years ago, B. dendrobatidis became separable from B. salamandrivorans (McLaughlin, 2001). they possess two significant phases of life. Mobile zoospore with a single retrospectively oriented flagella and a breeding body and thallus produce asexual zoospores, called zoosporangium (Plehn, 1920: 275-281). In chytridiomycosis, sexuality has been scarcely documented (Rachowicz, 2005: 1441-1448). Neither of them has been found in culture for sexual reproduction.


B.dendrobatidis has a wide variety of hosts and can infect at least 520 anuran species; frog and toad, urodeles, salamanders, and newts. B. salamandrivoran appears, except for B. dendrobatidis, limited to salamanders and newts. The work of Martel (Martel et al., 2013: 15325-15329) provides essential details about the host boundaries and actual spreading of B. salamandrivorans. Of few anurans and urodelan, and caecilian animals studied in laboratory settings. None got contaminated with any of them. organism

The Salamandridae family seems highly vulnerable to lethal chytridiomycosis, with most infects succumbing within 2–3 weeks of early acquiring. The earliest confirmation was contained in a Cynops ensicauda museum (sword-tailed newt) from 1861 (Fisher, 2007: 2-9). Two conflicting theories, including chytridiomycosis, are suggested to clarify the root of infectious diseases (Garner, 2006: 455-459). First, this disease may be caused by a fungus that emanated early and occurred at a magnitude. Later, they become more infectious due to differences in host immune response, infection susceptibility, and the ecosystem (Endemic Pathogen Hypothesis). Regardless of whether humans may help in dispersal and novel host species, the latest geographical field may be found, as shown by the theory of “novel” or invasive pathogens (NPH). The roots of B. dendrobatidis, the foreign trade of live amphibians, have paved the way for distributing the disease between continents (Kolbly, 2014, Johnson, 2005: 181-186).

Mobile waterborne zoospores often transmit hosts (Rachowicz, 2005: 1441-1448) and close interaction with contaminated amphibians (e.g., during mating) (Mertel et al., 2013: 15325-15329). Thus, significant amounts of zoospores can be deposited into the water bodies by infected amphibians, rendering them potential aquatic reservoirs. B. dendrobatidis can live in water under controlled conditions. similarly, fungi can also survive in damp soil for weeks up to months. The ecology of B. dendrobatidis amphibian host (Garner, 2006: 455-459) is unknown, and its potential to survive outside its host in an area exposed to microinvertebrates.

  1. dendrobatidisis also aerobically powerful to thrive on, animal body parts (Garner, 2006: 455-459) exoskeletal arthropods, waterfowl paw scales, and to live on crayfish digestive tract. Therefore, both waterfowl and crayfish have been proposed for the propagation of B. dendrobatidisas possible non-amphibian vectors. In addition, B. dendrobatidis DNA was identified on Panamanian reptiles.
  2. salamandrivoranswere also brought to Europe, most possibly by amphibians.B. salamandrivorans is present in salamanders introduced from Asia. These Asian salamander species may be ideal reservoirs for a minimum of 5 months without clinical conditions (Plehn, 1920: 275-281). This is very worrying since B. salamandrivorans are highly infectious to vulnerable salamander populations. Shared housing studies learn that an eight-hour interaction is adequate to transmit B. Salamandrivorans to naive individuals and other animals from contaminated Cynops pyrrogasters. In addition, in particular, the fire-belling news of the Cynops genus was exchanged in vast amounts, over 2 million over eight years (Kolbly, 2014, Johnson, 2005: 181-186). Thus, the possibility of chytridiomycosis generated in regions other than Europe is very factual

Compliance with host surfaces

Adhesion extracted from amphibian skin has been observed and is recorded within 2–4 hours of exposure to zoospores (Rachowicz, 2005: 1441-1448). Zoospores grow in the host skin surface to thick-walled cysts and sometimes cluster in the focus of infection—fine fibrillary projections on the dermis support cysts. The structure of these fibrils is, therefore, yet to be determined. In the B. dendrobatidis, various genes carrying proteins associated with cell binding are described. They are more likely than in zoospores to be explicit in sporangia as grown on ground tissue of the host, will possibly adhere to genes, which are all unique to B. dendrobatidis.

  1. dendrobatidishas a presumed Chitin binding module. Therefore, its amphibian host is a rival to and restricts the access of the foreign chitinases in other fungal pathogens by attaching them to the Chitin of their specific cell wall. Furthermore, this will also cause the fungi to be attached to unhosted chitin structures (e.g., insect and exoskeletal crustaceans), which allow vector-borne disease propagation (Fisher, 2007: 2-9, Garner, 2006: 455-459.

Epidermis invasion.

The method of host cell intake, cell growth, and stretching of the skin has both been observed in a skin extraction from an experimentally infected frog (Plehn, 1920: 275-281). B. dendrobatids usually develop within host tissue, with expansion or sprout from a zoospore cyst in 24 hours after the initial infection dominance, and enable for the transition of the genome to a host cell. The external portion of the fungus then expands and creates a new cell. Finally, the fungus uses these methods for more profound levels of original cell developing structures, which stretch out to their surroundings and burst inside the host genome to establish a new thallus.

  1. dendrobatidiscolonizes the keratinized and stratified skin. The colonization of larvae restricted to the keratinized mouthpieces. Research findings in larvae found that B. dendrobatidis invasion of the epidermis follows the spread of keratin during the transformation process. Keratin weakens the mouth sections after metamorphosis, before the keratinization of the epithelia in the remainder of the froglet. B. dendrobatidismoves from mouthpieces to hindlimbs at the point (Fisher, 2007: 2-9).

The small amount of literature about this novel pathogen shows that contaminated urodelans multiply (Kolbly, 2014, Johnson, 2005: 181-186). The penetration of skin coincides with the sensitivity of the host. Good sensitive salamanders are inoculated, and endothelial colonization of the epidermis will follow within 24 hours and trigger death within two weeks. As B. salamandrivorans in culture grow germ tubes, it is more probable that the invasion and dissemination of host epidermis often mediate germ tubes.

Chytrid infection mechanisms, mediators, and outbreaks result in the Host conditions.

The host’s genetic composition will broadly impact infection—high compatibility complex loci codes in vertebrates’ cytoskeletal proteins that regulate the response from the immunity. Amphibians with unique MHC genotypes appear to gain a considerable safety profile if contaminated with B. dendrobatidis. Recently, a low genetic variation within the population of organisms and consequently a decreased biological susceptibility will obstruct the ability to resist infection (Fisher, 2007: 2-9, Garner, 2006: 455-459). Discrepancy infection resistance between the larval, post-metamorphic, subadult, and adult phases as observed. E.g., tadpoles may be contaminated with pathogens without clinical signs and mortality rates in post-metamorphic animals by the infection.

Virulence of pathogens

The isolation and genotype depend on the infectiousness of the pathogen or its comparative tendency to inflict harm to its host (Fisher, 2007: 2-9, Garner, 2006: 455-459. At least six large hypervirulent global panzootic families are currently known. This invasive lineage, unlike non-strains infections, is synonymous with significant fallouts that once wave likely expanded in a new region. B. dendrobatidis virulence rises experimentally at room temperatures below 25 °C. As previously discussed, B. dendrobatidis optimally grows within an ambient temperature of 17–25 °C. Zoospores encyst inside this range and become zoosporangia quicker than at colder concentrations. A more significant colony of zoospores is formed by zoosporangium in low temperatures, where zoospores remain highly infectious for a prolonged duration. This result, in the colder months of the year in the tropics, the mortality of naturally contaminated amphibians will be significantly higher. In contrast, warmer conditions would encourage survival at other periods of the year. Virus and disease dynamics are often determined mainly by ambient temperatures by B. salamandrivorans. An infection rate of zoospore at which death occurs is 15°C twice as quickly as 20°C, while B. salamandrivorans at 25°C cannot colonize the skin.

The Environmental Impact

In natural organisms, differential B.dendrobatidis sensitivity is caused by many environmental factors like water, thermal, altitude, and strength of sunlight. Especially high-altitude regions or cold-temperature regions have an improvement in the risk (Sabino-Pinto, 2015:411-416). These environmental variables can plausibly significantly increase the susceptibility of an organism through a change in B. dendrobatidis virulence or changes in the immune system of an amphibian host.

Different pathogens co-infection

This study has thus far concentrated on individual pathogen encounters. Amphibian hosts can be subjected to different diseases, including viruses, microbes, fungus, and even severe pathologies and mortality. For example, chytridiomycosis caused by B. dendrobatidis has been observed in confined amphibians in conjunction with infections. Co-infection with B. dendrobatidis and Ranavirus was found in wild animals (Sabino-Pinto, 2015:411-416). In these situations, the pathogens that lead to morbidity and mortality are difficult to identify or differentiate between primary and secondary pathogens. Indeed, knowledge about how associations between co-occurring pathogens influence the seriousness of the disease is very restricted. In certain Neotropical Hylidae, Craugastoridae, and Dendrobatidae, a vital link was identified between Ranavirus and B. dendrobatidis infections. Lower mortality was found in Pseudacris regilla larvae subjected to laboratory experiments to both Ribeiroia nematode and B. dendrobatids than in either of the two pathogens (Rachowicz, 2005: 1441-1448).

Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)

The disease was discovered over a century ago and held a worldwide distribution. It affects a large family of carnivores, including Canidae, Mustelidae, Procyonidae Viverridae, Ailuridae, Ursidae, and large Felidae. It also includes mammals such as Asian elephants and some primates. Domestic dogs are the most susceptible and hence considered to be the main reservoir hosts species. This virus has a close relation to the one that affects the seals and dolphins.

CDV poses a serious threat to wildlife. However, these treats are gradually increasing to human encroachment as both people and dogs are seriously affected by infectious disease in undeveloped areas of the world. This is due to the recent outbreaks of the virus, as it shows the potentials to infect human beings. Like any other virus, CDV infects the host cell where it suppresses the ability of the cell to fight the virus. Mostly, the lungs of the host are the most affected hence developing pneumonia.

How it’ spread

The canine distemper is much of an ordinary cold in humans spread through close touch or airborne exposure. If a contaminated dog or wild animal coughs, sneezes, or barks, it emits airborne particles droplets to the air that infects other pets and objects in the vicinity, including food and water bowls. Dogs may not be the only threatened creatures. Wild animals may also be overwhelmed, including raccoons, foxes, bears, coyotes, skunks, ferrets, and minks. This suggests that an epidemic of distemper could put dogs at risk for the disease since they do not interact with other dogs in the local wildlife community. Bitches can even transmit the infection to their puppies via the placenta

Symptoms of Distemper Canine?

Hosts with Distemper undergo a variety of signs based on their body’s progression. For example, suppose a dog is sick. In that case, the virus first multiplies the respiratory tract lymph tissue before spreading to the dog’s other lymph tissues, the breathing tract, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract epithelial tissue, central nervous system, and light sensory organs. These signs lead to two symptom points.

Stage one: The first sign of discomfort is runny or pus-like eye flux, high fever, lack of appetite, and explicit nasal flush. Most of the infected animals experience fever around 3-6 days after being sick, but the first signs rely on how severe the case is and how the pet is responding to it. The generally related signs of distemper are high temperature, purulent watery eyes, fatigue, eating disorders, coughing, abdominal disease, diarrhea, and brain and spinal cord inflammation. If a distempered animal suffers acute disease, it may also experience hyperkeratosis on the paw and nose pads, which brings the term “hard pad” distemper. This discomfort sign allows a host’s feet to harden, which widen and is painful.

Stage 2: Certain host show physiological symptoms as the condition advances and attacks the central nervous system. These signals confuse owners, including head tilt and twisting, Partial or complete coma, convulsions, Nystagmus, twitching muscles, Increased salivation, chewing movements, and death.

Treating Canine Disturbance

Pathologically, wild carnivores with CDV infection are treated similarly as domestic pets. No treatment for canine distemper is available. A mixture of clinical symptoms and laboratory testing or a post-mortem necropsy will detect distemper. Treatment is solely compassionate until diagnosed. Vets treat diarrhea and vomiting signs, avoid exhaustion, prevent secondary infection, and aim to prevent them. Most vets advocate hospitalization and isolation of pets from other dogs to avoid infection transmission. The rate of recovery and duration of the infection relies on the pathogen and the effectiveness of a host’s immune system. Most cases are resolved as fast as ten days. However, some situations can show pathological changes for weeks and months.

Preventing Canine Distemper

The virus is delicate and vulnerable in organic compounds such as formaldehyde, aromatic, and molecular ammonium compounds. Also, when subjected to ultraviolet light, humidity, dryness, and popular disinfectants may help a lot to control it. However, despite having a lifespan for a few hours in the atmosphere at ambient temperature (~25°C), this virus can survive in low temperatures (~5°C) for at least two weeks. Therefore, infected animals are to quarantine for months from other animals due to the risk of prolonged virus shedding over this period.

The use of vaccines avoids canine distemper. However, it would be best to deter mischief among carnivores by ensuring that; the infected host has taken the maximum range of distemper vaccines to avoid reinfection. For domestic hosts, first, keep the distemper vaccine up to date to prevent any skipping of vaccines. Isolate the infected carnivores from mingling with wildlife and livestock. Vaccinate all the animals in a park against distemper. For cases of domestic animals, avoid socializing a dog or puppy, especially in places where dogs gather, such as dog parks, classrooms, and daycare for pets. These moves will help save the pet Speaking to the doctor and contacting the vet promptly upon experience signs of distemper in dogs is highly encouraged.


B.dendrobatidis has several causes, including their global dissemination, rapid expansion, high virulence, and a wide variety of host products, contributing to substantial declines in the biodiversity of amphibians. The recent appearance of B. salamandrivorans is a sobering trend. B. salamandrivorans show an unrivaled challenge to salamander species, given the high sensitivity of salamanders and the present spread in Europe of this fungus variety. Despite efforts by different scholars to uncover the dynamic relationships between a pathogen, their environment, and the host, it is still necessary to resolve the knowledge gaps. Several critical hurdles in the future work highlighted in this review include understanding the fundamental structures of the fungi. The structure and the cell constituents could be a vital consideration of the considerable differences between fungi and their association with the host. The explanation of the whole concept of cellular and molecular infection of both chytrid species A detailed knowledge of those issues is essential to predicting possible disease situations and the further production of effective chytridiomycosis prevention and corrective steps.