Keegan Householder and Hannah Walker (STEM Graduates 2016) as their Senior Capstone Project developed a in field ELISA assay for the detection of Bd. Their Research Project received 1st place at Regional Science and Engineering Fair and received 2nd Tier Award at the State Science and Engineering Fair. Their Project also received the Tellus Museum Award. Click on the button below to view their poster presentation
Overview of Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis
Batrachochytrim dendrobatidis, is a Chytrid fungus that has been detected at several mass death events in amphibians, several of these events have generated near 100% mortality rate. The B. dendrobatidis fungus causes the disease Chytridiomycosis within amphibians. Once B. dendrobatidis infects an amphibian, it continuously grows microscopically atop of the amphibian’s skin. The B. dendrobatidis fungus infected epithelial cells of amphibians causing keratinization of the epidermal cells. The B. dendrobatidis fungus has been detected in a variety of worldwide locations, including Australia, Kenya, South Africa, as well as in many areas in the United States, such as Colorado, California, Washington D.C., North Carolina, and Georgia. As amphibians are primary indicator species of an ecosystem, which means that their health is an indication of the overall status of the ecosystem of which they live in, this study will help to determine the extent of infections in amphibians within different location of streams primarily feeding into Lake Lanier. As Northern Georgia is considered to be one of the world’s best locations of salamander diversity, the extent of B. dendrobatidis infection and its potential spread needs to be determined and monitored on a consistent, regular basis. Surveying river quality during detection of B. dendrobatidis fungus on a regular seasonal basis, will determine any correlation, if any, of seasons fluctuations or river quality changes may have on B. dendrobatidis infection spread.