Some Panamanian frogs recovering from epidemic

This video says about itself:

Frogs vs. Fungus | National Geographic

22 September 2009

Panama’s golden frog is a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Now researchers are fighting to save the rare amphibian from a naturally occuring – and deadly – fungus.

That was then. And now …

From Science, 30 March 2018:

Shifts in disease dynamics in a tropical amphibian assemblage are not due to pathogen attenuation

Resistance is not futile

The fungal disease chytridiomycosis has wreaked havoc on amphibians worldwide. The disease is caused by the organism Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and was first identified in the late 1990s. Voyles et al. revisited protected areas in Panama where catastrophic amphibian losses were recorded a decade ago (see the Perspective by Collins). Although disease theory predicts that epidemics should result in reduced pathogenicity, they found no evidence for such a reduction. Despite this, the amphibian community is displaying signs of recovery—including some species presumed extinct after the outbreak. Increased host resistance may be responsible for this recovery.


Infectious diseases rarely end in extinction. Yet the mechanisms that explain how epidemics subside are difficult to pinpoint. We investigated host-pathogen interactions after the emergence of a lethal fungal pathogen in a tropical amphibian assemblage. Some amphibian host species are recovering, but the pathogen is still present and is as pathogenic today as it was almost a decade ago. In addition, some species have defenses that are more effective now than they were before the epidemic. These results suggest that host recoveries are not caused by pathogen attenuation and may be due to shifts in host responses. Our findings provide insights into the mechanisms underlying disease transitions, which are increasingly important to understand in an era of emerging infectious diseases and unprecedented global pandemics.

See also here.

2 thoughts on “Some Panamanian frogs recovering from epidemic

  1. It is always sad to hear about a species being in danger. Thank you for posting this-it is important to inform others about things such as this.

    Also, you have won the “Shiny Beetle Award” that you were nominated for. =) Your blog is well written and has a lot of information. It definitely deserves an award or two!

    Keep it up and thank you for following my blog!


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