Amphibian chytrid lifecycle. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Panama.
Chytridiomycosis is an infectious disease of amphibians, caused by the chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a nonhyphal zoosporic fungus. Chytridiomycosis has been linked to dramatic population declines or even extinctions of amphibian species in western North America, Central America, South America, eastern Australia, and Dominica and Montserrat in the Caribbean. Much of the New World is also at risk of seeing the disease arrive within the coming years. The fungus is capable of causing sporadic deaths in some amphibian populations and 100% mortality in others. No effective measure is known for control of the disease in wild populations. Various clinical signs are seen by individuals affected by the disease. A number of options are possible for controlling this disease-causing fungus, though none has proved to be feasible on a large scale. The disease has been proposed as a contributing factor to a global decline in amphibian populations that apparently has affected about 30% of the amphibian species of the world.