There are relatively few data on the prevalence of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in amphibian populations from Italy, where Bd is has been detected in different species, comprising Sardinia (Bielby et al. 2013; Tessa et al. 2013). To assess the diffusion of Bd infection in amphibian populations living within three Italian National protected areas, a molecular screening, part of the Italian Ministry of Environment project “Monitoraggio delle specie di ambiente umido acquatico”, began in 2015. Overall, 496 swabs from eleven species were analysed by RT-PCR, using a protocol based on Sybr Green chemistry and validated against the standard Taqman PCR assay of Boyle et al. (2004). The preliminary results show that Bd infection, detected in 6 species, is present in all the three sampled areas with different prevalence. In particular, in the Cinque Terre National Park (NW Italy) the overall infestation rate was 3% (7 infested amphibians out of 227) and in the Circeo National Park (central Italy) 5% (10 infested out of 222). A higher infestation rate (32%, 15 infested out of 47) was observed in the Pollino National Park (S Italy). However, there were no evidences of unusual mortalities in any study area and the individual prevalence was low, ranging from 1 to 30 Bd genome equivalents per individual swab. This project aims to include more national protected areas, while enlarging the sample size of unstudied and under-represented species.
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