The deadly frog disease is known worldwide for being the most devastating wildlife disease ever known, but unfortunately, the pet traders lack knowledge about the said disease. Now, the virus is spreading rapidly, and people must be aware and educated on how to avoid and eradicate pet trade of wildlife animals.
University of Newcastle Ecologist Simon Clulow said that the frog disease was devastating the world’s frog populations. It had already caused mass extinction among hundreds of species, and hundreds more are at risk. The disease is continuing to devastate populations in Australia, the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Since the 1970s, the Chytrid fungus has caused a disease called chytridiomycosis that leads to heart failure and drive hundreds of species of frogs to extinction. Chytridiomycosis is a contagious infection instigated by the chytrid fungus and blamed for wiping out more than a third of the world’s frog species. Chytridiomycosis is a type of fungus that spreads infection by releasing small bodies known as “zoospores.” It gets into the skin of frogs, disrupting the flow of electrolytes and eventually gives them a heart attack.
An international team of researchers traced the ancestor of the pathogen to a single strain in East Asia. The results of the researchers’ study support the idea that rather than dating back thousands of years, as previously thought, the range of the disease expanded significantly between 50 and 120 years ago, coinciding with the rapid global expansion of intercontinental trade.
According to the researchers, humans are to blame for the rapid spread of the disease. Pet trading directly contributed to spreading the pathogen around the world. That is why the researchers are urging people to be educated about the importance of global biosecurity measures.
The team also uncovered additional strains of the fungus that could cause further species decline, highlighting the importance of strict biosecurity policies. Countries must act now to improve regulations before other strains spread.