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Pathogenic Microbiology

Liberty University

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Characterizing The Cutaneous Microbiome Of Eurycea Lucifuga As A Potential Defense Against Chytridiomycosis, Madeline Key Dec 2022

Characterizing The Cutaneous Microbiome Of Eurycea Lucifuga As A Potential Defense Against Chytridiomycosis, Madeline Key

Senior Honors Theses

Chytridiomycosis is an emerging infectious disease that is significantly reducing global amphibian populations. The disease is caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a fungus that lethally modifies amphibian skin. Recent research has suggested that the cutaneous microbiome of individual amphibians may play a role in susceptibility to the pathogen. In this study, twelve cave salamanders (Eurycea lucifuga) were collected. Cutaneous bacteria from each salamander were isolated and identified using Sanger Sequencing. Additionally, a Bd-challenge assay was performed to determine each isolate’s antifungal activity. Results indicated many microbial isolates possessed inhibitory capabilities against Bd, which may …