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News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

Live Bullfrog Trade Implicated in Amphibian-Killing Disease

•, by LiveScience Staff
 A team of researchers collected bullfrogs on sale at Asian food stores in seven cities in the United States and found 41 percent of the frogs were infected with the fungus.
The chytrid fungus is harmless to people, but it has caused species declines and even extinctions among amphibians. However, it is not fatal to all amphibians. The fungus doesn't kill the North American bullfrog, the type of frog sampled in this study, making this species an excellent carrier.
Frogs in these U.S. shops are imported live primarily from farms in Taiwan, Brazil and Ecuador. In the United States, the live frogs are then sold for their legs.

The team also looked for fungus at frog farms in Brazil and among several native frog species from Brazil's Atlantic Forest, one of the most amphibian-rich regions in the world.

Their work revealed four new strains of chytrid, also known as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis or Bd. One of these was found on a bullfrog in southeastern Michigan. This frog appeared to have come from a farm in the Atlantic Forest region, where sampling from native frogs revealed that the four strains are common.

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