• amphibian decline;
  • disease transmission;
  • extinction;
  • host–pathogen interaction;
  • Sierra Nevada


  • 1
    Chytridiomycosis is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which has been implicated recently in population declines and possible extinctions throughout the world.
  • 2
    The transmission rate of this pathogen was quantified in the mountain yellow-legged frog Rana muscosa through laboratory and field experiments, and a maximum likelihood approach was used to determine the form of the transmission function that was best supported by the experimental data.
  • 3
    The proportion of R. muscosa tadpole hosts that became infected increased with the number of previously infected R. muscosa tadpoles to which they were exposed, as would be expected in an infectious disease.
  • 4
    The laboratory experiment revealed some support for a transmission function in which the transmission rate levels off as the density of infected individuals increases. However, there was not enough power to distinguish between a frequency-dependent form and several other asymptotic forms of the transmission function.
  • 5
    The impacts of crowding and temperature on transmission were also investigated; however, neither of these factors significantly affected the transmission rate.