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Cryptic infection of a broad taxonomic and geographic diversity of tadpoles by Perkinsea protists [PNAS]

Keywords : frog decline, emerging disease, parasite, alveolates, molecular diversity

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

The decline of amphibian populations, particularly frogs, is often cited as an example in support of the claim that Earth is undergoing its sixth mass extinction event. Amphibians seem to be particularly sensitive to emerging diseases (e.g., fungal and viral pathogens), yet the diversity and geographic distribution of infectious agents are only starting to be investigated. Recent work has linked a previously undescribed protist with mass-mortality events in the United States, in which infected frog tadpoles have an abnormally enlarged yellowish liver filled with protist cells of a presumed parasite.(...)

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