Immunization is ineffective at preventing infection and mortality due to the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

  • Published source details Stice M.J. & Briggs C.J. (2010) Immunization is ineffective at preventing infection and mortality due to the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 46, 70-77.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Immunize amphibians against chytridiomycosis infection

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation
  1. Immunize amphibians against chytridiomycosis infection

    A randomized, replicated, controlled study in a laboratory at the University of California, USA (Stice & Briggs 2010) found that vaccinating mountain yellow-legged frogs Rana muscosa with formalin-killed chytrid fungus did not significantly reduce infection rate with chytridiomycosis or mortality. The proportion of frogs that became infected (chytrid/adjuvant: 0.8; adjuvant only: 0.9; control: 0.8) and died (chytrid/adjuvant: 0.4; adjuvant: 0.4; control: 0.2) were similar to controls. Following vaccination, there was no significant difference in the time to infection, rate of increase in chytrid zoospores in animals (chytrid/adjuvant: 0.08; adjuvant: 0.08; control: 0.09) or the maximum number of zoospores per frog (chytrid/adjuvant: 53,990; adjuvant: 17,831; control: 5,106). Frogs were randomly assigned into three groups of 19–20 individuals. Controls received an injection of saline. One group received a 1:1 vaccination of formalin-killed chytrid fungus in Freund’s complete adjuvant (to increase effectiveness) and one month later formalin-killed chytrid in Freund’s incomplete adjuvant. Another group received saline with Freund’s complete adjuvant and one month later saline with Freund’s incomplete adjuvant. Injections comprised 0.05 cm³ into the dorsal lymph sac. Frogs were exposed to live chytrid (105 zoospores) one month after treatments. Individuals were monitored weekly for chytridiomycosis using swabs of the ventral surface.


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