Response from the Amphibian Survival Alliance to “Cure for chytrid? Scientists discover method to eliminate killer fungus

“The research results presented in the Bosch et al 2015 paper is adding to our toolkit to effectively combat emerging infectious diseases in amphibians around the world. However, as acknowledged by the authors, urgent research is still needed to determine what, if any, the potential unintended consequences of Virkon S are on the entire ecosystem, including beneficial microbes and other forms of biodiversity” said Reid Harris, Director of International Disease mitigation with the Amphibian Survival Alliance.

The authors’ approach might be warranted in cases of isolated populations where Bd immigration is unlikely with Critically Endangered amphibian species and if it becomes clear that effects to the ecosystem are not highly negative.

There isn’t a silver bullet to eradicating wildlife diseases and we shouldn’t necessarily be looking for one. As such, the Alliance is focused on building up as much knowledge as we can on the various ways to deal with disease outbreaks. These techniques should not only consider the pathogen but also the host species, political climate and practicalities of implementing the mitigation technique in the field.

Photo: Mallorcan midwife toad © Jaime Bosch MNCN-CSIC

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