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Chytrid fungus infection in zebrafish demonstrates that the pathogen can parasitize non-amphibian vertebrate hosts

Liew, Nicole, Mazon Moya, Maria J., Wierzbicki, Claudia J., Hollinshead, Michael, Dillon, Michael J., Thornton, Christopher R., Ellison, Amy, Cable, Jo, Fisher, Matthew C. and Mostowy, Serge 2017. Chytrid fungus infection in zebrafish demonstrates that the pathogen can parasitize non-amphibian vertebrate hosts. Nature Communications 8 , 15048. 10.1038/ncomms15048

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Abstract

Aquatic chytrid fungi threaten amphibian biodiversity worldwide owing to their ability to rapidly expand their geographical distributions and to infect a wide range of hosts. Combating this risk requires an understanding of chytrid host range to identify potential reservoirs of infection and to safeguard uninfected regions through enhanced biosecurity. Here we extend our knowledge on the host range of the chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis by demonstrating infection of a non-amphibian vertebrate host, the zebrafish. We observe dose-dependent mortality and show that chytrid can infect and proliferate on zebrafish tissue. We also show that infection phenotypes (fin erosion, cell apoptosis and muscle degeneration) are direct symptoms of infection. Successful infection is dependent on disrupting the zebrafish microbiome, highlighting that, as is widely found in amphibians, commensal bacteria confer protection against this pathogen. Collectively, our findings greatly expand the limited tool kit available to study pathogenesis and host response to chytrid infection.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Nature Research
ISSN: 2041-1723
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 March 2017
Date of Acceptance: 23 February 2017
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 17:30
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/98867

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