Chytridiomycosis is an emerging infectious amphibian disease that is caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus is the main reason of the major decline in amphibian population and extinction, mostly seen in frogs. The Chytrid Fungus has many species, most of which are aquatic and saprobic (degrade chitin and keratin). This certain species is the first that kills vertebrates. It does this by decomposing the keratin in frog's skin. Frogs need their skin very moist because they breath and drink through it so when the fungus decomposes the keratin in the skin, the frog essentially suffocates. Chytridiomycosis was first seen in 1998 in Australia and Panama. Since then it has been found six continents and affects 93 species. This fungus spreads very quickly because it spreads through water and contact with other amphibians. Also, to an extent, it adapts to high and low temperatures. Thankfully, the fungus dies within 24 hours if it does not find a host.
Why is this fungus important? Does it matter? More involvement by scientists and doctors is extremely important; the awareness of the rapidly declining amphibian population is drastic in saving these animals. This project focuses on only one of the ninety or more species being infected by the Chytrid Fungus. Hundreds of frogs are dying every week from this fungus and hopefully something can be done to control chytridiomycosis.