Tuesday, 6 November 2007

A froggy reprieve

It happens rarely. Every so often something happens that provides a glimmer of optimism for the conservation ecologist. This is probably one of those events.

I spotted the story a few days ago on the BBC News pages, but typically it took me a while to react. Apparently a team of researchers from the University of Otago have discovered a possible cure to chytridiomycosis in frogs. Frogs have been suffering serious declines worldwide due to a mystery disease and chytridiomycosis is one of the candidates for the cause. The researchers used chloramphenicol to cure animals of the disease in the lab.

Sadly, chloramphenicol has health implications in humans, so is unlikely to be used in a wider context. However it is very valuable progress. With continued research on this and other possibilities it might be possible to halt the decline and extinction of frogs and other amphibians.

No comments: