Amphibians are frequently impacted by several stressors contributing to population declines. The xenoestrogens dumped into the effluents can act as endocrine disruptors, affecting several physiological functions of amphibians. Once exposed to these contaminants, amphibians may become more susceptible to infectious diseases such as chytridiomycosis. In the aquatic environment, all of these factors can occur concomitantly, and an interaction between them can lead to even more severe effects. However, to date there are no studies evaluating the synergistic effects of 17±-ethynyloestradiol (EE2) and chytridiomycosis, nor are there comparisons between sexes in this sense. The microbiome may mediate the effects of stressors and disease, thus here we aim to characterize the microbiome of male and female Rhinella icterica, and to examine the effects of exposure to EE2 and the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Research targets will be achieved by analyzing the microbiome at the University of Massachusetts Boston, under the supervision of Dr. Douglas Woodhams. This pioneering study may have global implications and is set to reveal a complex web of interactions between pathogens, environmental contaminants and sexual gender in anurans.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: