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Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), is an emerging fungal disease that poses a serious threat to salamanders worldwide. Bsal originated in Asia and has swept through western Europe, but is not yet present in North America, a global hotspot of salamander biodiversity. Researchers will study the immune responses of a common North American salamander, the Eastern newt. The team will study factors which could influence susceptibility to this disease, including host genetic diversity, coinfections with other diseases, habitat and populations of origin. Given poor biosecurity and the ongoing international pet trade, the potential for Bsal to eventually impact North American salamanders is high. Identifying factors that predispose salamanders to Bsal will help inform disease prevention and management strategies for naive populations as the disease spreads.

Study ID
D19ZO-412
Study Status
Active
Start Date
06/01/2019
Grant amount awarded
$50,000
Grant recipient
Cornell University
Study country
United States
Investigator
Caitlin A. McDonald, DVM
Study category
Infectious Disease