Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Sodium chloride inhibits the growth and infective capacity of the amphibian chytrid fungus and increases host survival rates

Published source details

Stockwell M.P., Clulow J. & Mahony M.J. (2012) Sodium chloride inhibits the growth and infective capacity of the amphibian chytrid fungus and increases host survival rates. PLOS One, 7, e36942


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use antifungal treatment to reduce chytridiomycosis infection Amphibian Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in a laboratory in Australia (Stockwell, Clulow & Mahony 2012) found that exposing Peron’s tree frogs Litoria peronii to low concentrations of sea salt significantly lowered chytrid infection loads and increased survival rates. Infection loads were significantly lower with concentrations of 1–4 parts per trillion (ppt) of sodium chloride compared to 5 ppt or no salt. Frogs exposed to 3 ppt had significantly higher survival rates (100%) than at lower (1 ppt: 37; 2 ppt: 63%) or higher concentrations (4 ppt: 72%; 5 ppt: 54%) or with no salt (37%). Survival and weight gains were not reduced with salt. Concentrations of 0–5 ppt sodium chloride did not reduce chytrid fungus survival, but 4–5 ppt significantly reduced growth (10–12 vs 18–22 developing zoospores) and motility (3–7 vs 27%) compared to controls. Frogs were housed with water containing: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 ppt sea salt. Chytrid in solution (1 mL) was added to half of each salt treatment (11 replicates/treatment). After 30 days body mass was measured and at 120 days swabs were tested for chytrid infection. Chytrid culture (100 ml) was added to 10 replicates of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 ppt sea salt and incubated at 22°C for 11 days. Fungus survival, growth and motility were assessed.