Occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the Tensift region, with comments on its spreading in Morocco
- Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis,
How to Cite
The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a generalist pathogen that affects many amphibian species and is responsible of chytridiomycosis onset, considered as the main causes of species extinctions and populations declines worldwide. The chytrid fungal pathogen has been first described in North Africa in 2011. The present work reported the first survey on Bd prevalence and intensity in the Tensift region of Morocco. The survey has been conducted on 11 different localities by collecting skin swabs and tissue samples of 97 individuals. Using a quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) protocol, low-intensity of Bd infection has been detected in the area of study. In fact, the chytrid fungal pathogen has been identified in 10 individuals distributed in six of the 11 sites investigated, placing the 95% confidence interval for overall prevalence at 5.5-19.6%. The survey confirmed the occurrence of Bd at both high and low altitude localities, on four species out of seven known to inhabit the region and added two additional species (Pelophylax saharicus and Sclerophrys mauritanica) to the list of Bd susceptible amphibians in Morocco. The present records extended Bd distribution more than 400 km in the South of Morocco, indicating that the chytrid fungal pathogen is more widespread in the country than previously thought.