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Micropredators dictate occurrence of deadly amphibian disease (press release)

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An international team of researchers has made important progress in understanding the distribution of the deadly amphibian chytrid pathogen. In some regions, the deadly impact of the pathogen appears to be hampered by small predators, naturally occurring in freshwater bodies. These micropredators may efficiently reduce the number of free-swimming infectious stages (zoospores) by consuming them. This natural behavior will reduce the infection pressure on potential amphibian hosts and a goes a long way towards explaining the occurrence of chytridiomycosis, at least in temporal climatic regions. These results were published in the renowned scientific journal Current Biology. The team of researchers state that their results raise the hope of successfully fighting chytridiomycosis, nowadays one of the most deadly wildlife diseases.

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