Bullfrogs may be deadly fungus carriers

May 24, 2006

A British-led study suggests the introduction of the North American bullfrog into many nations might be causing the spread of a deadly fungus.

Biologists around the world have noted a dramatic decline in the number of amphibians, placing about one-third of all species at risk of extinction. Scientists believe the chytrid fungus might be responsible for the amphibian deaths.

The fungus clings to the skins of amphibians, causing a disease called chytridiomycosis, although the exact cause of death is still undetermined, the BBC reported Wednesday.

Scientists writing in the journal Biology Letters say they found non-native North American bullfrogs carry the chytrid fungus and might act as a vector. Those bullfrogs -- some reaching 8 inches in length and 1 pound in weight -- have been introduced into many nations to be farmed for frog legs, kept as pets or for other reasons.

The nations involved are numerous, and include Brazil, Uruguay, France, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom.

"We have shown that introduced bullfrogs consistently carry the fungus in the wild," Trent Garner, lead author of the paper and a wildlife epidemiologist from the Zoological Society of London, told the BBC.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Study finds codeine often prescribed to children, despite available alternatives

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Biologists move 500 red-legged frog eggs to mountain wetlands

Mar 17, 2014

Federal biologists clad in waders and armed with long-handled nets this week moved hundreds of red-legged frog eggs from a San Fernando Valley stream to carefully selected wetlands 10 miles away in the first attempt to expand ...

Culture of an amphibian killer

Nov 20, 2012

(Phys.org)—In the November issue of the journal Molecular Ecology, a U.S. and Brazilian research team reported evidence of novel and hybrid strains of a lethal fungus that has decimated amphibian popula ...

Deadly frog fungus found in Japan

Jun 13, 2007

A deadly parasitic fungus that has been killing frogs around the world has has been found in wild frogs in Japan for the first time.

Recommended for you

AMA examines economic impact of physicians

8 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Physicians who mainly engage in patient care contribute a total of $1.6 trillion in economic output, according to the American Medical Association (AMA)'s Economic Impact Study.

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

8 hours ago

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

9 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

9 hours ago

Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.