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van Waeyenberghe L.,Ghent University | Pasmans F.,Ghent University | Beernaert L.A.,Ghent University | Haesebrouck F.,Ghent University | And 5 more authors.
Avian Pathology | Year: 2011

Aspergillosis is one of the most common causes of death in captive birds. Aspergillosis in birds is mainly caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, a ubiquitous and opportunistic saprophyte. Currently it is not known whether there is a link between the environmental isolates and/or human isolates of A. fumigatus and those responsible for aspergillosis in birds. Microsatellite typing was used to analyse 65 clinical avian isolates and 23 environmental isolates of A. fumigatus. The 78 genotypes that were obtained were compared with a database containing genotypes of 2514 isolates from human clinical samples and from the environment. There appeared to be no specific association between the observed genotypes and the origin of the isolates (environment, human or bird). Eight genotypes obtained from isolates of diseased birds were also found in human clinical samples. These results indicate that avian isolates of A. fumigatus may cause infection in humans. © 2011 Houghton Trust Ltd. Source

Doherty-Bone T.M.,Natural History Museum in London | Doherty-Bone T.M.,UK Institute of Zoology | Doherty-Bone T.M.,University of Leeds | Gonwouo N.L.,British Petroleum | And 16 more authors.
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms | Year: 2013

Amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been hypothesised to be an indigenous parasite of African amphibians. In Cameroon, however, previous surveys in one region (in the northwest) failed to detect this pathogen, despite the earliest African Bd having been recorded from a frog in eastern Cameroon, plus one recent record in the far southeast. To reconcile these contrasting results, we present survey data from 12 localities across 6 regions of Cameroon from anurans (n = 1052) and caecilians (n = 85) of ca. 108 species. Bd was detected in 124 amphibian hosts at 7 localities, including Mt. Oku, Mt. Cameroon, Mt. Manengouba and lowland localities in the centre and west of the country. None of the hosts were observed dead or dying. Infected amphibian hosts were not detected in other localities in the south and eastern rainforest belt. Infection occurred in both anurans and caecilians, making this the first reported case of infection in the latter order (Gymnophiona) of amphibians. There was no significant difference between prevalence and infection intensity in frogs and caecilians. We highlight the importance of taking into account the inhibition of diagnostic qPCR in studies on Bd, based on all Bd-positive hosts being undetected when screened without bovine serum albumin in the qPCR mix. The status of Bd as an indigenous, cosmopolitan amphibian parasite in Africa, including Cameroon, is supported by this work. Isolating and sequencing strains of Bd from Cameroon should now be a priority. Longitudinal host population monitoring will be required to determine the effects, if any, of the infection on amphibians in Cameroon. © Inter-Research 2013. Source

Gower D.J.,Natural History Museum in London | Doherty-Bone T.,Natural History Museum in London | Loader S.P.,University of Basel | Wilkinson M.,Natural History Museum in London | And 14 more authors.
EcoHealth | Year: 2013

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is commonly termed the 'amphibian chytrid fungus' but thus far has been documented to be a pathogen of only batrachian amphibians (anurans and caudatans). It is not proven to infect the limbless, generally poorly known, and mostly soil-dwelling caecilians (Gymnophiona). We conducted the largest qPCR survey of Bd in caecilians to date, for more than 200 field-swabbed specimens from five countries in Africa and South America, representing nearly 20 species, 12 genera, and 8 families. Positive results were recovered for 58 specimens from Tanzania and Cameroon (4 families, 6 genera, 6+ species). Quantities of Bd were not exceptionally high, with genomic equivalent (GE) values of 0.052-17.339. In addition, we report the first evidence of lethal chytridiomycosis in caecilians. Mortality in captive (wild-caught, commercial pet trade) Geotrypetes seraphini was associated with GE scores similar to those we detected for field-swabbed, wild animals. © 2013 International Association for Ecology and Health. Source

Hoban S.,University of Ferrara | Arntzen J.W.,Naturalis Biodiversity Center | Bertorelle G.,University of Ferrara | Bryja J.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | And 18 more authors.
Journal for Nature Conservation | Year: 2013

Policy makers and managers are increasingly called upon to assess the state of biodiversity, and make decisions regarding potential interventions. Genetic tools are well-recognised in the research community as a powerful approach to evaluate species and population status, reveal ecological and demographic processes, and inform nature conservation decisions. The wealth of genetic data and power of genetic methods are rapidly growing, but the consideration of genetic information and concerns in policy and management is limited by the currently low capacity of decision-makers to access and apply genetic resources. Here we describe a freely available, user-friendly online resource for decision-makers at local and national levels (http://congressgenetics.eu), which increases access to current knowledge, facilitates implementation of studies and interpretation of available data, and fosters collaboration between researchers and practitioners. This resource was created in partnership with conservation practitioners across the European Union, and includes a spectrum of taxa, ecosystems and conservation issues. Our goals here are to (1) introduce the rationale and context, (2) describe the specific tools (knowledge summaries, publications database, decision making tool, project planning tool, forum, community directory), and the challenges they help solve, and (3) summarise lessons learned. This article provides an outlook and model for similar efforts to build policy and management capacity. © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. Source

Rodel M.-O.,Leibniz Institute for Research on Evolution and Biodiversity | Doherty-Bone T.,Natural History Museum in London | Kouete M.T.,Cameroon Herpetology Conservation Biology Foundation CAMHERP CBF | Janzen P.,Rheinallee 13 | And 5 more authors.
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

We describe a new small Phrynobatrachus species from southern Cameroon. The new species exhibits a combination of unique morphological characters and a distinctive colour pattern consisting of a black lateral face mask, a black throat in males, a white throat with uniform black lower mandibles in females and a white belly in both sexes. Morphologically it is characterized by small size, absence of an eyelid cornicle, presence of black spines on anterior part of vocal sac in males, spines on flanks, presence of discs on toe and finger tips, distinct webbing, absence of nuptial pads on male thumbs and scapular ridges converging in a straight line. Analysis of mitochondrial 16S rRNA revealed that the new species differs from 34 other West and Central African species of the genus by a minimum distance of 4.5% and is most similar to several Phrynobatrachus species which are almost all endemic to the Cameroon volcanic line or parts of it, i.e. P. chukuchuku (4.9%), P. werneri (5.1%), P. steindachneri (5.2%), P. schioetzi (5.6%), P. batesii (5.9%), P. cricogaster (5.5%), P. danko (6.1%), and P. manengoubensis (6.1%), respectively. The new species is most similar to P. batesii, which was described from forests close to the type locality of the new species. Morphologically the new species differs from P. batesii by much smaller size (< 20 mm vs. 25-31 mm), shape of scapular ridges, belly colour, shorter shanks, absence of nuptial pads and presence of gular spines in breeding males. Copyright © 2012 · Magnolia Press. Source

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