Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis)

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Chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) is a fungus that is causing havoc all over the frog world. Commonly called Bd, the fungus was discovered in 1999. Its the only fungus that affects vertebrates animals, specifically amphibians. The fungus causes the skin of amphibians to become thicker, decreasing the amphibian’s ability to obtain nutrients through its skin. The abnormal electrolyte levels in the cells affected by Bd can cause the infected amphibian’s heart to stop breathing.

The fungus has reached every continent that amphibians live on causing mass of losses in populations. Researchers found that the fungus grows the best at 17-25°C. Treatment for the disease includes antifungul drugs and heat treatment where they keep the infected animal at temperature of over 25°C.

Researchers suggest that Bd has spread due to humans. The spores of the fungus sticks to shoes, clothes, or equipment and travel with humans to new population areas. Also the release of pets could also have caused the spread.

Bd is a serious problem in the amphibian world with no easy solution in sight.

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