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Amphibian chytridiomycosis outbreak dynamics are linked with host skin bacterial community structure

AuthorsBates, Kieran A.; Clare, Frances C.; O’Hanlon, Simon; Bosch, Jaime ; Brookes, Lola; Hopkins, Kevin; McLaughlin, Emilia J.; Daniel, Olivia; Garner, Trenton W. J.; Fisher, Matthew C.; Harrison, Xavier A.
Microbial ecology
Ecological epidemiology
Issue Date2018
PublisherSpringer Nature
CitationNature Communications 9: 693 (2018)
AbstractHost-associated microbes are vital for combatting infections and maintaining health. In amphibians, certain skin-associated bacteria inhibit the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), yet our understanding of host microbial ecology and its role in disease outbreaks is limited. We sampled skin-associated bacteria and Bd from Pyrenean midwife toad populations exhibiting enzootic or epizootic disease dynamics. We demonstrate that bacterial communities differ between life stages with few shared taxa, indicative of restructuring at metamorphosis. We detected a significant effect of infection history on metamorph skin microbiota, with reduced bacterial diversity in epizootic populations and differences in community structure and predicted function. Genome sequencing of Bd isolates supports a single introduction to the Pyrenees and reveals no association between pathogen genetics and epidemiological trends. Our findings provide an ecologically relevant insight into the microbial ecology of amphibian skin and highlight the relative importance of host microbiota and pathogen genetics in predicting disease outcome.
Description© The Author(s).
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-02967-w
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