Batrachochytrium salamandrivoran in the Cuban tree frogs (Osteopilus septentrionalis)
Towe, A., D. L. Miller, E. D. Carter, K. Ash, M. Bohanon, B. Bajo, and M. J. Gray.  2020.  Annual Meeting of the Southeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Nauvoo, AL.  (invited)

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is a fungus that infects amphibians, causing skin lesions and eventually death. It has been thought that Bsal leads to asymptomatic carrier states in frogs and does not cause disease as it does in susceptible salamanders. Therefore, we hypothesized that anurans would not develop disease when challenged with concentrations of Bsal that result in disease in salamanders. To test this hypothesis, we exposed Cuban treefrogs (Osteopilus septentrionalis) to varying concentrations of Bsal zoospores. Frogs exposed to 5x106 zoospores tested positive for Bsal with qPCR starting at four days post-exposure and began showing signs consistent with chytridiomycosis two weeks post-exposure. Post-mortem histopathology was performed on frogs from this group, confirming Bsal as the causal agent. Bsal was also isolated from the infected frogs and successfully used to infect Eastern Newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), fulfilling Koch’s postulates. This experiment represents the first documentation of Bsal chytridiomycosis in an anuran species.