Google Play icon

Newly identified tadpole disease found across the globe

Share
Posted August 11, 2015

Scientists have found that a newly identified and highly infectious tadpole disease is found in a diverse range of frog populations across the world. The discovery sheds new light on some of the threats facing fragile frog populations, which are in decline worldwide.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, led by the University of Exeter and the Natural History Museum, describes the molecular methods used to test frog tadpoles for a newly identified infectious agent.

Tadpoles from six countries across three continents were tested for ‘protists’ – single celled microbes with complex cells which store their DNA in a nucleus, like human cells. The previously unidentified parasite was present in tadpole livers in both tropical and temperate sites, and across all continents tested. The infectious agent was identified as a distant relative of Perkinsea sp., a marine parasites found in  animals and algae.

Professor Thomas Richards from the University of Exeter said: “Global frog populations are suffering serious declines and infectious disease has been shown to be a significant factor. Our work has revealed a previously unidentified microbial group that infects tadpole livers in frog populations across the globe.

“We now need to figure out if this novel microbe – a distant relative of oyster parasites – causes significant disease and could be contributing to the frog population declines.”

It is widely recognised that amphibians are among the most threatened animal groups: for example, in 2008, 32% of species were listed as ‘threatened or extinct’ and 42% were listed as in decline.The decline of amphibian populations, particularly frogs, is thought to suggest that Earth is currently undergoing a sixth mass extinction event.

Source: University of Exeter

Featured news from related categories:

Technology Org App
Google Play icon
85,413 science & technology articles

Most Popular Articles

  1. New treatment may reverse celiac disease (October 22, 2019)
  2. "Helical Engine" Proposed by NASA Engineer could Reach 99% the Speed of Light. But could it, really? (October 17, 2019)
  3. New Class of Painkillers Offers all the Benefits of Opioids, Minus the Side Effects and Addictiveness (October 16, 2019)
  4. The World's Energy Storage Powerhouse (November 1, 2019)
  5. Plastic waste may be headed for the microwave (October 18, 2019)

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Tumblr   RSS   Newsletter via Email