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Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is an emerging fungal disease in salamanders and a major health threat to the diversity of these animals. Bsal was introduced to wild European salamanders via the pet trade and caused rapid population declines; some species have declined as much as 90% with no signs of recovery. This deadly disease has yet to be detected in North America, the continent with the greatest diversity of salamanders. Current testing for Bsal infections requires individually swabbing animals, which is too costly and laborious to scale to the size of the live animal trade. Researchers will test a new tool to detect Bsal in the genetic material shed into water and housing substrates of salamanders. The team hopes this new tool will aid in disease sampling of entire populations and provide large-scale surveillance of Bsal to minimize disease spread to vulnerable animals.

Study ID
D19ZO-010
Study Status
Active
Start Date
07/01/2019
Grant amount awarded
$61,816
Grant recipient
Washington State University
Study country
United States
Investigator
Jesse L. Brunner, PhD
Study category
Infectious Disease