Prevalence of Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis in an Amphibian Communities of Central Texas and Tamaulipas, Mexico
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Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a fungus that causes chytridiomycosis on infected amphibians, and has been implicated as a potential causative agent in the amphibian population declines of the past 50 years. This study seeks to assess the prevalence of Bd in amphibian communities in Central Texas and the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico. In Central Texas two counties were evaluated during the spring of 2012, and for the Tamaulipas assessment samples of 18 amphibian species were collected between 2004 and 2008 at 16 different localities that ranged from 100-2900 meters in elevation. All the samples were obtained from non-consumptive toe clippings and swabs. The presence of the pathogen was assessed by using a Taqman quantitative real time PCR (qPCR) assay in a highly sensitive approach to detection. Interestingly, there is a low prevalence for Bd in Central Texas in comparison with previous studies conducted in this area. All samples tested from Tamaulipas were negative for the presence of the pathogen. This study implies that monitoring the pathogen in both southern Texas and northern Mexico requires explicit changes to normal surveys protocols. To better understand the dynamics of the fungus in these environments, will require increased efforts during periods that accommodate pathogen thermal preferences. Further exploration in this regions and adjacent areas will help to inform of the prevalence, widespread and epidemiology of Bd and would help prioritize conservation efforts.