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Major Emerging Fungal Diseases of Reptiles and Amphibians

Schilliger, Lionel; Paillusseau, Clément; François, Camille; Bonwitt, Jesse

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Lionel Schilliger

Clément Paillusseau

Camille François


Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are caused by pathogens that have undergone recent changes in terms of geographic spread, increasing incidence, or expanding host range. In this narrative review, we describe three important fungal EIDs with keratin trophism that are relevant to reptile and amphibian conservation and veterinary practice. Nannizziopsis spp. have been mainly described in saurians; infection results in thickened, discolored skin crusting, with eventual progression to deep tissues. Previously only reported in captive populations, it was first described in wild animals in Australia in 2020. Ophidiomyces ophidiicola (formely O. ophiodiicola) is only known to infect snakes; clinical signs include ulcerating lesions in the cranial, ventral, and pericloacal regions. It has been associated with mortality events in wild populations in North America. Batrachochytrium spp. cause ulceration, hyperkeratosis, and erythema in amphibians. They are a major cause of catastrophic amphibian declines worldwide. In general, infection and clinical course are determined by host-related characteristics (e.g., nutritional, metabolic, and immune status), pathogens (e.g., virulence and environmental survival), and environment (e.g., temperature, hygrometry, and water quality). The animal trade is thought to be an important cause of worldwide spread, with global modifications in temperature, hygrometry, and water quality further affecting fungal pathogenicity and host immune response.


Schilliger, L., Paillusseau, C., François, C., & Bonwitt, J. (2023). Major Emerging Fungal Diseases of Reptiles and Amphibians. Pathogens, 12(3), Article 429.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 6, 2023
Online Publication Date Mar 8, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Jun 28, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jun 28, 2023
Journal Pathogens
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 3
Article Number 429
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Published Journal Article (1.5 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

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