A genus of emerging pathogens Ranavirus is thought to be the potential new culprit causing the decline and extinction of amphibians around the world. A new book by a UT professor provides insight on the viruses and guidance on urgent research directions to address them.
Ranaviruses: Lethal Pathogens of Ectothermic Vertebrates was published this month as an Open Access eBook by Springer. It is available online. The lead editor is Matthew Gray, a professor in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries in the UT Institute of Agriculture.
Last year, Gray and other scientists published research about Ranaviruses through the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) and the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries’s Center for Wildlife Health. The study investigated the effect of Ranavirus on the entire life cycle of wood frogs in demographically isolated populations, where there is no movement of frogs into the population from surrounding areas. Researchers showed that Ranavirus, which causes severe hemorrhage of internal organs in frogs, could cause extinction of isolated populations of wood frogs if they are exposed to the virus every few years.
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