Monostome cercariae induced malformations in amphibians: effect of infection at the pre-limb-bud stage tadpoles of Polypedates cruciger Blyth uri icon

abstract

  • Global biodiversity loss and disease emergence are interrelated and have become a challenging environmental issue. Infection by the digenetic trematode, Riberioa ondatrae induces malformations in amphibians and is considered an emerging infection. The effect of infection on amphibians is not only parasite and host species specific, but also depends on the timing of infection. Recent evidence suggests that infection by cercariae of a monostome trematode species induces severe malformations in the common hourglass tree frog, Polypedates cruciger Blyth (1852) when exposed at the limb-bud stage of development. The aim of this study was to examine whether infection by this treamtode species at the pre-limb-bud stage also induces malformations in P cruciger. Infection at the pre-limb-bud stage resulted in malformations (64.5%) and significantly reduced survival (77.5%). It also affected the growth and lengthened the larval period. Infections acquired at the pre-limb-bud stage caused a higher mortality and induced fewer malformations than infections at the limb-bud stage, as reported in a previous study. Hence, the effect of infection of monostome cercariae seems to depend on the developmental stage at which the tadpoles are exposed. Understanding the stage specific dynamics of malformations and associated mortality might be important to amphibian conservation.

publication date

  • 2010
  • 2010