Thomas J. Poorten

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Amphibian populations around the world are threatened by an emerging infectious pathogen, the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). How can a fungal skin infection kill such a broad range of amphibian hosts? And do different host species have a similar response to Bd infection? Here, we use a genomics approach to understand the genetic(More)
Emerging infectious diseases are of great concern for both wildlife and humans. Several highly virulent fungal pathogens have recently been discovered in natural populations, highlighting the need for a better understanding of fungal-vertebrate host-pathogen interactions. Because most fungal pathogens are not fatal in the absence of other predisposing(More)
Understanding the evolutionary history of microbial pathogens is critical for mitigating the impacts of emerging infectious diseases on economically and ecologically important host species. We used a genome resequencing approach to resolve the evolutionary history of an important microbial pathogen, the chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has(More)
The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused declines and extinctions in amphibians worldwide, and there is increasing evidence that some strains of this pathogen are more virulent than others. While a number of putative virulence factors have been identified, few studies link these factors to specific epizootic events. We documented a(More)
Determining the mechanisms of host-pathogen interaction is critical for understanding and mitigating infectious disease. Mechanisms of fungal pathogenicity are of particular interest given the recent outbreaks of fungal diseases in wildlife populations. Our study focuses on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the chytrid pathogen responsible for amphibian(More)
The immune system of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, includes nearly the full repertoire of lymphoid organs and immune cell types found in mammals. In contrast to the mammalian immune system, the development of the amphibian immune system occurs in the open environment. Oviparity necessitates a rapid ontogeny of the immune system. X. laevis larvae(More)
Ten years after the first discovery of the chytrid pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the catastrophic effect of Bd on wild amphibian populations is indisputable. However, a number of persistent questions remain about Bd's origin and mechanisms of pathogenicity. Here we discuss the promise of genetic and genomic tools for answering these(More)
Emerging infectious diseasespose a significant threat to global health, but predicting disease outcomes for particular species can be complicated when pathogen virulence varies across space, time, or hosts. The pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused worldwide declines in frog populations. Not only do Bd isolates from wild(More)
In the past century, recently emerged infectious diseases have become major drivers of species decline and extinction. The fungal disease chytridiomycosis has devastated many amphibian populations and exacerbated the amphibian conservation crisis. Biologists are beginning to understand what host traits contribute to disease susceptibility, but more work is(More)
1 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, United States of America, 2 School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia, 3 Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California, United States of America, 4(More)