Amphibian populations can be susceptible to several potentially devastating pathogens, including Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, B. salamandrivorans, and ranaviruses.
The report of ranavirus causing amphibian population collapses in Europe is troubling for several reasons:
- the strain appears to be novel;
- it exhibits a very wide host range;
- it is highly virulent; and
- unlike other ranaviruses, appears to cause population extinctions.
The Amphibian Survival Alliance is concerned about this development and will support efforts to understand the biology of this pathogen and to mitigate the disease threat.