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Museum herp curator co-authors paper on emerging fungus threat in Asia

An international team of researchers, including Museum herpetologist Bryan Stuart, has completed the first major survey in Asia of a deadly fungus that has wiped out more than 200 species of amphibians worldwide. The massive survey could help scientists zero in on why the fungus has been unusually devastating in many parts of the globe — and why Asian amphibians have so far been spared the same dramatic declines.

The disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis or Bd, is the culprit behind amphibian extinctions in Central, South and North America, Australia and Europe. The new Asian survey of the fungus, which was published Aug. 16 in the journal PLoS One, shows that Bd is prevalent at very low levels in the region.

The paper can be found online at: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0023179

See an example of one of the species that tested positive for chytrid fungus in Luang Namtha Province, Laos, at: http://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/35107.php?from=19204