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A fungal disease is threatening amphibians in Africa

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A new study in Frontiers in Conservation Science has revealed that Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the fungus responsible for chytridiomycosis, the worst vertebrate disease in recorded history, has become established across Africa, and is posing a new threat to amphibians across the continent.

The study shows that the infection prevalence increased to 17.2% in 2000 and to 21.6% during the 2010s, from below 5% for every decade between the 1930s and 2000.

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The regions most at risk are eastern, central, and western Africa. The authors suggest that climate change-induced stress, and the increased air travel of humans and cargo, could be culprits.

The rapid surge of Bd may cause disease-driven declines and extinctions of amphibians in Africa, which may already be happening without anyone knowing about it.

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