Measuring the transmission of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the Panamanian golden frog Atelopus zetecki
Amphibian communities have declined dramatically due to chytridiomycosis, the disease caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), yet the transmission of Bd remains poorly understood. In order to test how transmission depends on the fungal load of the host, we infected 43 adult Panamanian Golden Toads (Atelopus zetecki)with Bd, which were then paired with unifected individuals. Animals were sampled every other day, and infection intensities were quantified using real time pcr. We then measured the time to infection in each unifected individual.
By the end of the experiment, All infected individuals had died of Bd infection. We find that probability of trasmission is dependent on the load of the infected individual.