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Immunological Aspects of Chytridiomycosis

1
Environmental Futures Research Institute and School of Environment and Science, Griffith University, Southport, QLD 4222, Australia
2
Forest Research Centre, School of Environment, Science and Engineering, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia
3
University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA
4
Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Southport, QLD 4222, Australia
5
Southern Cross Plant Science, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Fungi 2020, 6(4), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6040234
Received: 15 September 2020 / Revised: 14 October 2020 / Accepted: 15 October 2020 / Published: 19 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemic Mycoses Devastating Wild Animal Populations)
Amphibians are currently the most threatened vertebrate class, with the disease chytridiomycosis being a major contributor to their global declines. Chytridiomycosis is a frequently fatal skin disease caused by the fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). The severity and extent of the impact of the infection caused by these pathogens across modern Amphibia are unprecedented in the history of vertebrate infectious diseases. The immune system of amphibians is thought to be largely similar to that of other jawed vertebrates, such as mammals. However, amphibian hosts are both ectothermic and water-dependent, which are characteristics favouring fungal proliferation. Although amphibians possess robust constitutive host defences, Bd/Bsal replicate within host cells once these defences have been breached. Intracellular fungal localisation may contribute to evasion of the induced innate immune response. Increasing evidence suggests that once the innate defences are surpassed, fungal virulence factors suppress the targeted adaptive immune responses whilst promoting an ineffectual inflammatory cascade, resulting in immunopathology and systemic metabolic disruption. Thus, although infections are contained within the integument, crucial homeostatic processes become compromised, leading to mortality. In this paper, we present an integrated synthesis of amphibian post-metamorphic immunological responses and the corresponding outcomes of infection with Bd, focusing on recent developments within the field and highlighting future directions. View Full-Text
Keywords: chytridiomycosis; Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans; amphibian; disease; immunopathology; immunosuppression; innate; adaptive; constitutive chytridiomycosis; Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans; amphibian; disease; immunopathology; immunosuppression; innate; adaptive; constitutive
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MDPI and ACS Style

Grogan, L.F.; Humphries, J.E.; Robert, J.; Lanctôt, C.M.; Nock, C.J.; Newell, D.A.; McCallum, H.I. Immunological Aspects of Chytridiomycosis. J. Fungi 2020, 6, 234.

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