Meeting Abstract

10.4  Wednesday, Jan. 4  Physiological responses of amphibians after exposure to the fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis GERVASI, Stephanie S.*; GONDHALEKAR, Carmen; BLAUSTEIN, Andrew R.; Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR gervasis@science.oregonstate.edu

Emerging infectious diseases of wildlife are a threat to species and populations. For example, the emerging fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been implicated as a driver of worldwide amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although we have learned a great deal about the ecology and distribution of Bd, less is known about how Bd affects physiological responses of amphibian hosts. Both lethal and sublethal effects may occur when hosts are exposed to Bd. Sublethal effects may include various physiological responses including those related to host immunity. We investigated responses of different amphibian host species after short-term or longer-term exposure to Bd. Variation in physiological responses to the pathogen may underlie interspecific variation in susceptibility to disease. Further, differences among hosts in response to exposure and infection with Bd may place certain species or groups of species at disproportionate risk of disease-induced population declines and species extinctions.