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In the last few decades, more than 90 known frog species have become extinct and hundreds more species are in decline due to chytridiomycosis, a deadly fungal disease rapidly spreading throughout the world. One cause of the disease's high mortality rate is the immunosuppressing substances produced by the fungus, which prevents the frogs from acquiring long-lasting immunity. Researchers will investigate the potential of a novel gene-silencing technique to interfere with the immunosuppressant activity of the fungus. Findings will be used to discover ways to help boost the immunity of frogs impacted by this deadly disease. A way to treat captive-bred endangered frogs before release, to avoid infection, would greatly improve their survival rates and may help save further species from extinction.

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James Cook University
Study country
Alexandra A. Roberts, PhD
Study category
Infectious Disease