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Pathogenic lineage of Perkinsea causes mass mortality of frogs across the USA: Data


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Marcos Isidoro-Ayza, Daniel A Grear, and Jeffrey Lorch, 2017, Pathogenic lineage of Perkinsea causes mass mortality of frogs across the USA: Data: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


(i) Severe perkinsea data was based on the observation of characteristic gross and microscopic lesions and the morphological identification of Perkinsea organisms within the lesions. Necropsies and gross evaluation of carcasses were carried out under a dissecting microscope. Specimen were collected and submitted to the NWHC as part of mortality investigations and collection of specimen from apparently healthy populations as part of ongoing amphibian health monitoring. (ii) Epidemiological information was compiled from each anuran sample, including the detection type (mortality event or health monitoring study), location (state and county), anuran species reported in the event, life-stage of species reported in the event (tadpoles or [...]


Point of Contact :
Daniel A Grear
Originator :
Marcos Isidoro Ayza, Daniel A Grear, Jeffrey M Lorch
Metadata Contact :
Daniel A Grear
Distributor :
GS ScienceBase

Attached Files

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anuran mortality event data.csv 34.88 KB
DNA Sequences anuran.csv 6.73 KB
DNA sequences perkinsea novel alveolate.csv 12.76 KB
Final Perkinsea data.xml
Original FGDC Metadata

176.77 KB
Specimen data for carcass.csv 48.72 KB


Emerging infectious diseases such as chytridiomycosis and ranavirus infections are considered important contributors to the worldwide decline of amphibian populations. We reviewed data on 247 anuran mortality events in 43 states of the United States from 1999 – 2015. Our findings suggest that a severe infectious disease of tadpoles caused by a protist belonging to the phylum Perkinsea might represent the third most common infectious disease of anurans after ranavirus infections and chytridiomycosis. Severe Perkinsea infections (SPI) were systemic and led to multiorganic failure and death. The SPI mortality events affected numerous anuran species and occurred over a broad geographic area, from boreal to subtropical habitats. Livers from all PCR-tested SPI-tadpoles were positive for the Novel Alveolate Group 01 (NAG01) of Perkinsea, while only 2.5% of apparently normal tadpole livers tested positive, suggesting that subclinical infections are uncommon. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that SPI is associated with a genetically distinct clade of NAG01 Perkinsea. These data suggest that this virulent Perkinsea clade is an important pathogen of frogs in the United States. Given its association with mortality events and tendency to be overlooked, the potential role of this emerging pathogen in amphibian declines on a broad geographic scale warrants further investigation.


  • National Wildlife Health Center



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