Treatment of Chytridiomycosis in Captive Amphibians
We performed this study in order to establish an effective, simple and safe treatment for chytridiomycosis. Subjects were 12 amphibians (11 anurans of 4 different species and 1 urodela) diagnosed with chytridiomycosis by clinical signs and PCR test. A 0.01% aqueous solution of the antifungal agent itraconazole was used to treat subjects and we evaluated the efficacy of treatment by 3 methods: clinical signs, direct microscopy, and nested PCR test. A 10-min immersion in a 0.01% aqueous solution of itraconazole every other day for a total of 7 treatments resulted in an improvement of clinical signs in 11 of the 12 cases. Specifically, we observed an abatement of increased sloughing and disappearance of zoosporangia by direct microscopy. DNA fragments of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis were not detected by PCR test at the end of treatment, nor were they detected after treatment (20-57 days following treatment; average, 34.4 days). No recurrence was observed 12 months after the end of treatment, nor did we observe any obvious side effects from itraconazole. Therefore, we recommend this treatment method as a treatment for chytridiomycosis, and also as an elimination technique for use in captive amphibians.