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Amphibian microbiome: the first line of defense against chytrid infection

Grant number: 18/08650-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2018
Effective date (End): August 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal researcher:Luis Felipe de Toledo Ramos Pereira
Grantee:Daniel Christofer Medina Lopez
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/25358-3 - The chytrid fungus: from its origins to its consequences, AP.TEM

Abstract

Emergent infectious diseases, in particular those caused by fungi, have recently been recognized as a major threat to wildlife. Within this context, the global amphibian population declines and extinctions caused by the disease chytridiomycosis provide a great example of the devastating effects of a fungal emerging infectious disease. Chytridiomycosis is an amphibian skin disease that is caused by the fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), whose negative effects on amphibian populations have been caused by a single highly virulent genotype, the global panzootic lineage (Bd-GPL). Interestingly, recent studies have identified less virulent endemic genotypes of Bd with potentially restricted distribution ranges. For instance, in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest the endemic genotypes can co-occur and, in some cases, reproduce with the highly virulent Bd-GPL. Hence, the presence of multiple co-occurring genotypes of Bd with different degrees of virulence in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest provides a unique opportunity to determine the potential mechanisms allowing genotypes co-existence and their influence on disease dynamic. Recent work on host-associated bacterial communities have revealed that amphibians harbor diverse and host-specific communities in their skin, whose members, in some cases, can inhibit the growth of Bd in in vitro challenge assays. Consequently, interest has been generated in the development of a probiotic-based approach using amphibian skin bacteria to mitigate Bd infections in the wild. As a result of a substantial amount of research exploring the potential interaction between the amphibian skin bacterial communities and Bd, it has been determined that infections by Bd can alter the structure of these communities, and that these bacterial communities can influence the susceptibility of the amphibian host to Bd. Moreover, current evidence suggests that the ability of some bacteria to inhibit Bd growth in in vitro challenge assays can vary across Bd genotypes and strains of the Bd-GPL. However, studies assessing the variation in the interaction between the amphibian skin bacteria and distinct Bd-genotypes in the wild are still lacking. In the proposed study, using our current understanding on the genetic structure of Bd across the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, we aim to determine at a fine scale (i.e. site-level) the pattern of infection of the different co-occurring Bd genotypes (Bd-GPL, Bd-Brazil and hybrids) across habitats and amphibian host-species. In addition, considering the variation in virulence across the Bd genotypes, we aim to determine whether these genotypes differ in the degree to which they can interact with the amphibian skin bacterial communities.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MEDINA, DANIEL; GREENSPAN, SASHA E.; CARVALHO, TAMILIE; BECKER, C. GUILHERME; TOLEDO, LUIS FELIPE. Co-infecting pathogen lineages have additive effects on host bacterial communities. FEMS MICROBIOLOGY ECOLOGY, v. 97, n. 4 APR 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.
PONTES, MARIANA RETUCI; BARDIER, CECILIA; MEDINA, DANIEL; PEREIRA, GISELA; LAMBERTINI, CAROLINA; TOLEDO, LUIS FELIPE. Seasonal variation of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in a threatened anuran species from Uruguay. DISEASES OF AQUATIC ORGANISMS, v. 145, p. 79-88, 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.
DOS SANTOS, ROSATI COELHO; MOLINARI DE BASTIANI, VELUMA LALU; MEDINA, DANIEL; RIBEIRO, LUISA PONTES; PONTES, MARIANA RETUCI; LEITE, DOMINGOS DA SILVA; TOLEDO, LUIS FELIPE; DE SOUZA FRANCO, GILZA MARIA; LUCAS, ELAINE MARIA. HIGH PREVALENCE AND Low INTENSITY OF INFECTION BY BATRACHOCHYTRIUM DENDROBATIDIS IN RAINFOREST BULLFROG POPULATIONS IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, v. 15, n. 1, p. 118-130, APR 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: cdi@fapesp.br.