New pathologies are causing dramatic declines and extinctions of multiple amphibian species. In 2013, in one fire salamander population of Northern Italy, we found individuals with undescribed cysts at the throat level, a malady whose existence has not previously been reported in amphibians. With the aim of describing this novel disease, we performed repeated field surveys to assess the frequency of affected salamanders from 2014 to 2020, and integrated morphological, histological, and molecular analyses to identify the pathogen. The novel disease affected up to 22% of salamanders of the study population and started spreading to nearby populations. Cysts are formed by mucus surrounding protist-like cells about 30 µm long, characterized by numerous cilia/undulipodia. Morphological and genetic analyses did not yield a clear match with described organisms. The existence of this pathogen calls for the implementation of biosecurity protocols and more studies on the dynamics of transmission and the impact on wild populations.

A new disease caused by an unidentified etiological agent affects European salamanders / R. Manenti, S. Mercurio, A. Melotto, B. Barzaghi, S. Epis, M. Tecilla, R. Pennati, G. Scari', G.F. Ficetola. - In: ANIMALS. - ISSN 2076-2615. - 12:6(2022 Mar 10), pp. 696.1-696.11. [10.3390/ani12060696]

A new disease caused by an unidentified etiological agent affects European salamanders

R. Manenti
Primo
;
S. Mercurio
Secondo
;
A. Melotto;B. Barzaghi;S. Epis;M. Tecilla;R. Pennati;G. Scari';G.F. Ficetola
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

New pathologies are causing dramatic declines and extinctions of multiple amphibian species. In 2013, in one fire salamander population of Northern Italy, we found individuals with undescribed cysts at the throat level, a malady whose existence has not previously been reported in amphibians. With the aim of describing this novel disease, we performed repeated field surveys to assess the frequency of affected salamanders from 2014 to 2020, and integrated morphological, histological, and molecular analyses to identify the pathogen. The novel disease affected up to 22% of salamanders of the study population and started spreading to nearby populations. Cysts are formed by mucus surrounding protist-like cells about 30 µm long, characterized by numerous cilia/undulipodia. Morphological and genetic analyses did not yield a clear match with described organisms. The existence of this pathogen calls for the implementation of biosecurity protocols and more studies on the dynamics of transmission and the impact on wild populations.
protist; Mesomycetozoea; pathogenic; amphibians; fire salamander; Salamandra salamandra
Settore BIO/05 - Zoologia
Settore BIO/06 - Anatomia Comparata e Citologia
Settore VET/06 - Parassitologia e Malattie Parassitarie degli Animali
10-mar-2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/916565
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