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

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Title: Amphibian chytridiomycosis outbreak dynamics are linked with host skin bacterial community structure
Author(s): Bates, K
Clare, F
O'Hanlon, S
Bosch, J
Brookes, L
McLaughlin, E
Daniel, O
Garner, T
Fisher, M
Harrison, X
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Host-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.
Publication Date: 15-Feb-2018
Date of Acceptance: 30-Nov-2017
ISSN: 2041-1723
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal / Book Title: Nature Communications
Volume: 9
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Funder's Grant Number: NE/K014455/1
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Keywords: MD Multidisciplinary
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: ARTN 693
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Medicine
Faculty of Natural Sciences
Epidemiology, Public Health and Primary Care

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