Quantifying the disease transmission function: effects of density on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis transmission in the mountain yellow-legged frog Rana muscosa
Article first published online: 19 JUN 2007
Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume 76, Issue 4, pages 711–721, July 2007
How to Cite
RACHOWICZ, L. J. and BRIGGS, C. J. (2007), Quantifying the disease transmission function: effects of density on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis transmission in the mountain yellow-legged frog Rana muscosa. Journal of Animal Ecology, 76: 711–721. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2007.01256.x
- Issue published online: 19 JUN 2007
- Article first published online: 19 JUN 2007
- Received 14 December 2006; accepted 2 April 2007
- amphibian decline;
- disease transmission;
- host–pathogen interaction;
- Sierra Nevada
- 1Chytridiomycosis 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.
- 2The 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.
- 3The 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.
- 4The 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.
- 5The impacts of crowding and temperature on transmission were also investigated; however, neither of these factors significantly affected the transmission rate.