Hopeful cure for diseased frogs

Mountain yellow-legged frog. Photo by: Chris Brown, USGS.

Researchers are now treating tadpoles in Kings Canyon National Park, California with anti-fungal bacteria. The hope is that the treatment will provide immunity to a particularly devastating disease.

  • The chytrid fungal disease is a potentially deadly skin disease that causes heart failure in many amphibians.
  • It can spread through the water an infected individual has been living in or if an infected frog is introduced into an area both intentionally and unintentionally.
  • The disease is believed to be responsible for over 100 amphibian species extinctions since 1970.
  • Scientists are now using an anti-fungal bacterium – first discovered on red-backed salamander, to try and treat this disease in California’s mountain yellow-legged frog.
  • They are pouring the potential cure into the lakes in which these frogs live. Some populations have already been treated with the bacterium and San Francisco State University will be checking up on the results.
  • This bacterium may not only be key to the survival of the California mountain yellow-legged frog, which is listed as Endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), but many frog species around the world.

Want to learn more?  Read the full story: Scientists testing anti-fungal bacteria on diseased frogs in California

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