Action: Sterilize equipment to prevent ranavirus
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no evidence for the effects of sterilizing equipment to prevent ranavirus on the spread of disease between amphibian individuals or populations.
'No evidence' for an action means we have not yet found any studies that directly and quantitatively tested this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
Ranavirus, sometimes known as ‘red-leg’, causes two forms of disease in amphibians, skin ulcers and internal bleeding. In some populations the virus causes mass mortality followed by population recovery, in others the disease is recurrent with long-term population declines of up to 80% (Teacher et al. 2010). Survival time of the virus outside a host is unknown and so equipment should be disinfected to prevent the spread of the disease.
There is additional literature examining the effectiveness of using a range of disinfectants to kill ranavirus. For example, a study found that chlorhexidine, household bleach and Virkon S, but not potassium permanganate, were effective at inactivating ranavirus when used at certain concentrations (Bryan et al. 2009).
Studies investigating prevention of the spead of chytridiomycosis are discussed in ‘Chytridiomycosis – Use gloves to handle amphibians’ and ‘Chytridiomycosis – Sterilize equipment when moving between amphibian sites’.
Bryan L.K., Baldwin C.A., Gray M.J. & Miller D.L. (2009) Efficacy of select disinfectants at inactivating Ranavirus. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 84, 89–94.
Teacher, A.G.F., Cunningham, A.A. & Garner, T.W.J. (2010). Assessing the long-term impact of Ranavirus infection in wild common frog populations. Animal Conservation, 13, 514–522.