Publication Date



School of Health Sciences


Biology: Biomedical Sciences; Biology: Pre-Med


salamander, cave salamander, eurycea lucifuga, microbiome, cutaneous microbiome, fungus, chytridiomycosis, batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, emerging infectious disease, amphibian


Animal Diseases | Animals | Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology | Fungi | Pathogenic Microbiology | Zoology


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 contribute to the cave salamander’s lack of population decline due to chytridiomycosis. This research may contribute to an increased understanding of potential defenses against Bd and ultimately to the development of a treatment to mitigate the chytridiomycosis epidemic.