Frog-killing disease has origins on Korean peninsula

A deadly disease known as chytridiomycosis, caused by the chytrid fungus, is thought to be one of the deadliest on the planet. It infects hundreds of species of amphibians and is thought to have wiped out a third of all frog species. A new study high
A deadly disease known as chytridiomycosis, caused by the chytrid fungus, is thought to be one of the deadliest on the planet. It infects hundreds of species of amphibians and is thought to have wiped out a third of all frog species. A new study highlights how diverse strains of the fungus could slip through the cracks and cause greater declines if the amphibian trade is left unregulated.ST FILE PHOTO

In the 1970s and 1980s, frogs and other amphibians seemed to be disappearing overnight. By 1999, researchers had determined that the culprit was a deadly disease caused by the chytrid fungus, which infected the animals with tiny swimming spores.

Today this disease, called chytridiomycosis, is thought to be one of the deadliest on the planet. It infects hundreds of species of amphibians and is thought to have wiped out a third of all frog species.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2018, with the headline 'Frog-killing disease has origins on Korean peninsula'. Print Edition | Subscribe