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Data from: Ancestral chytrid pathogen remains hypervirulent following its long co-evolution with amphibian hosts

Citation

Fu, Minjie; Waldman, Bruce (2019), Data from: Ancestral chytrid pathogen remains hypervirulent following its long co-evolution with amphibian hosts, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.79n5686

Abstract

Many amphibian species around the world, except in Asia, suffer morbidity and mortality when infected by the emerging infectious pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). A lineage of the amphibian chytrid fungus isolated from South Korean amphibians (BdAsia-1) is evolutionarily basal to recombinant global pandemic lineages (BdGPL) associated with worldwide amphibian population declines. In Asia, the Bd pathogen and its amphibian hosts have coevolved over 100 years or more. Thus, resilience of Asian amphibian populations to infection might result from attenuated virulence of endemic Bd lineages, evolved immunity to the pathogen or both. We compared susceptibilities of an Australasian amphibian, Litoria caerulea, known to lack resistance to BdGPL, with those of three Korean species, Bufo gargarizans, Bombina orientalis and Hyla japonica, after inoculation with BdAsia-1, BdGPL or a blank solution. Subjects became infected in all experimental treatments but Korean species rapidly cleared themselves of infection, regardless of Bd lineage. They survived with no apparent secondary effects. By contrast, L. caerulea, after infection by either BdAsia-1 or BdGPL, suffered deteriorating body condition and carried progressively higher Bd loads over time. Subsequently, most subjects died. Comparing their effects on L. caerulea, BdAsia-1 induced more rapid disease progression than BdGPL. The results suggest that genomic recombination with other lineages was not necessary for the ancestral Bd lineage to evolve hypervirulence over its long period of coevolution with amphibian hosts. The pathogen's virulence may have driven strong selection for immune responses in endemic Asian amphibian host species.

Usage Notes

Location

South Korea
New Guinea
Asia
Australasia