chytrid testing

Chytridiomycosis is a serious disease of amphibians caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. It is thought responsible for global declines in amphibian populations (Daszak et al. 1999). In Australia the disease has been listed as a ‘key threatening process’ under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999. The federal ‘Threat Abatement Plan’ aims to manage the impacts of the disease. Identification of this fungal parasite relied upon histological examination via haematoxylin and eosin staining of toe clips or skin scrapings. This is an invasive, time consuming and less sensitive approach. Recently, PCR based diagnostic methods have been developed to improve efficiency for identifying chytrid infections.

Services

cesar offers a competitively priced and fast processing service that uses either the real-time Taqman PCR assay (Boyle et al. 2004) or the nested PCR approach of Goka et al. (2009) for detecting chytridiomycosis from swab and tissue samples from amphibians. Analysis costs depend on the number of samples being tested.

We also test for chytrid in water samples using a novel environmental DNA (eDNA) approach pioneered in the cesar laboratories. This technique establishes the presence of chytrid, by analysing water samples where amphibian species may be exposed.

For further enquires, please contact cesar on +61 3 93494723 or via email