Amphibians around the world are vanishing due to infectious disease, and many species are in danger of going extinct. A pathogen called Ranavirus is particularly devastating to frogs and toads in the U.S. The virus is often fatal and can also infect fish, reptiles and other amphibians.
Smithsonian scientists and partners believe genetic diversity could hold the key to saving amphibians from this deadly disease.
The results of their study — a collaboration with the University of Central Florida, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Conservation Genomics and the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center — were published Jan. 7 in Immunogenetics.
To gather the best data, the team focused on a North American species that is highly susceptible to Ranavirus: wood frogs.