Topics

Ranavirus???


Noah Charney
 

Hi all,

I know very little about pathogens, so any insight would be appreciated.  Back in April, we collected some woodfrog eggs from an isolated vernal pool in Sunderland, MA to rear for a homeschool project.  Out of habit, we bleached all equipment that we used beforehand (none of which had been used in a long time).  The pond was full of spotted and Jefferson salamander eggs and has all the classic VP inverts, way up in old forest.

On June 12, as the pond was rapidly drying up, I saw that all of the woodfrog tadpoles were swimming in a solid clump in the center of the pond kissing the surface, creating froth around them, which seemed like really strange behavior (is that normal?).  There was also a half-dead bloated salamander larva floating belly-up right next to them.  The salamander seemed large for this time of year, and frankly I didn’t recognize it - I figure it’s too advanced for spotted, so I guess it had to be a Jeff. 

The drying pond had left pretty much all of the spotted salamander eggs up on dry land, so, without too much thought, I took one of the drying masses back down to our house and plopped it in the tank with our healthy woodfrogs.

Our woodfrogs were just starting metamorphosis in the tank, but within a week, they started dying rapidly.  A few made it to froglet stage, but even those pretty much all died over the 3-day span ending today.  Many were bloated with internal bleeding. Needless to say, it’s been hard on the kids.

So, insights?  Any other reports of Jeffs (well, probably LLJ unisexual) getting hit by such a thing?  What about our spotteds in the tank - which still seem healthy.  Will they keel over at metamorphosis too? (I need to prepare the kids for what’s coming.)  Did they infect our tank, or were the woodfrogs doomed anyway (like, was it in their system the whole larval stage and just took over during the stress of metamorphosis)?  If it’s ranavirus, how long can it persist on dry surfaces? 
--
~~~
Twitter: @NatureNoah


Frank Parisio
 

Hi Noah, 

It does appear from the pictures and your observations that Ranavirus is at least a suspect at play here. But the only way to confirm solidly is through a pathology lab that can run qPCR and possibly do histology on samples of the tadpoles. Classic signs of Ranavirus infection include the bloating, mouth avulsions, and hemorrhages. This seems to be what you’ve been witnessing. Other signs are ataxia while swimming and lethargy. Non-tadpole behavior. 

I have been monitoring Ranavirus outbreaks at two pools in the Catskills of NYS since 2013. The virus is a devastating emerging infectious disease that seems to kill off most of the tadpole mass within a short period of time. No idea how or why it popped up. But as you wrote, bleaching your gear is essential to not accidentally spread. I typically make a 5-6% solution and blast my waders and boots in between each wetland. 

Lastly, wood frogs have been studied and found to be especially vulnerable to Ranavirus. They die more rapidly and spread it amongst themselves through touching more rapidly than Ambystomatids. The best time to capture and submit samples for testing is when the tadpoles are moribund and not dead and necrotic. Timing is everything. Check out ranavirus.org for more info. 

Good luck, 

Frank 


On Jun 23, 2020, at 1:15 AM, Noah Charney <ndcharney@...> wrote:


Hi all,

I know very little about pathogens, so any insight would be appreciated.  Back in April, we collected some woodfrog eggs from an isolated vernal pool in Sunderland, MA to rear for a homeschool project.  Out of habit, we bleached all equipment that we used beforehand (none of which had been used in a long time).  The pond was full of spotted and Jefferson salamander eggs and has all the classic VP inverts, way up in old forest.

On June 12, as the pond was rapidly drying up, I saw that all of the woodfrog tadpoles were swimming in a solid clump in the center of the pond kissing the surface, creating froth around them, which seemed like really strange behavior (is that normal?).  There was also a half-dead bloated salamander larva floating belly-up right next to them.  The salamander seemed large for this time of year, and frankly I didn’t recognize it - I figure it’s too advanced for spotted, so I guess it had to be a Jeff. 

The drying pond had left pretty much all of the spotted salamander eggs up on dry land, so, without too much thought, I took one of the drying masses back down to our house and plopped it in the tank with our healthy woodfrogs.

Our woodfrogs were just starting metamorphosis in the tank, but within a week, they started dying rapidly.  A few made it to froglet stage, but even those pretty much all died over the 3-day span ending today.  Many were bloated with internal bleeding. Needless to say, it’s been hard on the kids.

So, insights?  Any other reports of Jeffs (well, probably LLJ unisexual) getting hit by such a thing?  What about our spotteds in the tank - which still seem healthy.  Will they keel over at metamorphosis too? (I need to prepare the kids for what’s coming.)  Did they infect our tank, or were the woodfrogs doomed anyway (like, was it in their system the whole larval stage and just took over during the stress of metamorphosis)?  If it’s ranavirus, how long can it persist on dry surfaces? 
--
~~~
Twitter: @NatureNoah


Mary Thomas
 

Hi Noah.

I don't do twitter. Would you be willing to attach your photos to a
post on this List?

So sorry the kids had to experience this. What grade is it?

Thanks.
Mary

On 6/23/20, Frank Parisio via groups.io <fparisio=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Noah,

It does appear from the pictures and your observations that Ranavirus is at
least a suspect at play here. But the only way to confirm solidly is through
a pathology lab that can run qPCR and possibly do histology on samples of
the tadpoles. Classic signs of Ranavirus infection include the bloating,
mouth avulsions, and hemorrhages. This seems to be what you’ve been
witnessing. Other signs are ataxia while swimming and lethargy. Non-tadpole
behavior.

I have been monitoring Ranavirus outbreaks at two pools in the Catskills of
NYS since 2013. The virus is a devastating emerging infectious disease that
seems to kill off most of the tadpole mass within a short period of time. No
idea how or why it popped up. But as you wrote, bleaching your gear is
essential to not accidentally spread. I typically make a 5-6% solution and
blast my waders and boots in between each wetland.

Lastly, wood frogs have been studied and found to be especially vulnerable
to Ranavirus. They die more rapidly and spread it amongst themselves through
touching more rapidly than Ambystomatids. The best time to capture and
submit samples for testing is when the tadpoles are moribund and not dead
and necrotic. Timing is everything. Check out ranavirus.org for more info.

Good luck,

Frank
On Jun 23, 2020, at 1:15 AM, Noah Charney <ndcharney@...> wrote:

Hi all,

I know very little about pathogens, so any insight would be appreciated.
Back in April, we collected some woodfrog eggs from an isolated vernal
pool in Sunderland, MA to rear for a homeschool project. Out of habit, we
bleached all equipment that we used beforehand (none of which had been
used in a long time). The pond was full of spotted and Jefferson
salamander eggs and has all the classic VP inverts, way up in old forest.

On June 12, as the pond was rapidly drying up, I saw that all of the
woodfrog tadpoles were swimming in a solid clump in the center of the pond
kissing the surface, creating froth around them, which seemed like really
strange behavior (is that normal?). There was also a half-dead bloated
salamander larva floating belly-up right next to them. The salamander
seemed large for this time of year, and frankly I didn’t recognize it - I
figure it’s too advanced for spotted, so I guess it had to be a Jeff.

The drying pond had left pretty much all of the spotted salamander eggs up
on dry land, so, without too much thought, I took one of the drying masses
back down to our house and plopped it in the tank with our healthy
woodfrogs.

Our woodfrogs were just starting metamorphosis in the tank, but within a
week, they started dying rapidly. A few made it to froglet stage, but
even those pretty much all died over the 3-day span ending today. Many
were bloated with internal bleeding. Needless to say, it’s been hard on
the kids.

So, insights? Any other reports of Jeffs (well, probably LLJ unisexual)
getting hit by such a thing? What about our spotteds in the tank - which
still seem healthy. Will they keel over at metamorphosis too? (I need to
prepare the kids for what’s coming.) Did they infect our tank, or were
the woodfrogs doomed anyway (like, was it in their system the whole larval
stage and just took over during the stress of metamorphosis)? If it’s
ranavirus, how long can it persist on dry surfaces?

I posted some pics here:
https://twitter.com/naturenoah/status/1275292464837021696?s=21

And video here:
https://twitter.com/naturenoah/status/1275293746243002369?s=21

Thanks!
-Noah








--
~~~
Twitter: @NatureNoah
Website: www.NoahCharney.org


--
"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that
created it." Albert Einstein


Noah Charney
 

Once it’s in a vernal pool, does it just stay there, persisting in dry soil or mollusks through the off-season, or does it have to get reintroduced by herps the next year?

I’m attaching pics.

(ps, I meant LJJ unisexuals in my prior email)

-Noah


On Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at 8:20 AM Mary Thomas <wzzw19@...> wrote:
Hi Noah.

I don't do twitter. Would you be willing to attach your photos to a
post on this List?

So sorry the kids had to experience this. What grade is it?

Thanks.
Mary

On 6/23/20, Frank Parisio via groups.io <fparisio=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
> Hi Noah,
>
> It does appear from the pictures and your observations that Ranavirus is at
> least a suspect at play here. But the only way to confirm solidly is through
> a pathology lab that can run qPCR and possibly do histology on samples of
> the tadpoles. Classic signs of Ranavirus infection include the bloating,
> mouth avulsions, and hemorrhages. This seems to be what you’ve been
> witnessing. Other signs are ataxia while swimming and lethargy. Non-tadpole
> behavior.
>
> I have been monitoring Ranavirus outbreaks at two pools in the Catskills of
> NYS since 2013. The virus is a devastating emerging infectious disease that
> seems to kill off most of the tadpole mass within a short period of time. No
> idea how or why it popped up. But as you wrote, bleaching your gear is
> essential to not accidentally spread. I typically make a 5-6% solution and
> blast my waders and boots in between each wetland.
>
> Lastly, wood frogs have been studied and found to be especially vulnerable
> to Ranavirus. They die more rapidly and spread it amongst themselves through
> touching more rapidly than Ambystomatids. The best time to capture and
> submit samples for testing is when the tadpoles are moribund and not dead
> and necrotic. Timing is everything. Check out ranavirus.org for more info.
>
> Good luck,
>
> Frank
>>> On Jun 23, 2020, at 1:15 AM, Noah Charney <ndcharney@...> wrote:
>> 
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I know very little about pathogens, so any insight would be appreciated.
>> Back in April, we collected some woodfrog eggs from an isolated vernal
>> pool in Sunderland, MA to rear for a homeschool project.  Out of habit, we
>> bleached all equipment that we used beforehand (none of which had been
>> used in a long time).  The pond was full of spotted and Jefferson
>> salamander eggs and has all the classic VP inverts, way up in old forest.
>>
>> On June 12, as the pond was rapidly drying up, I saw that all of the
>> woodfrog tadpoles were swimming in a solid clump in the center of the pond
>> kissing the surface, creating froth around them, which seemed like really
>> strange behavior (is that normal?).  There was also a half-dead bloated
>> salamander larva floating belly-up right next to them.  The salamander
>> seemed large for this time of year, and frankly I didn’t recognize it - I
>> figure it’s too advanced for spotted, so I guess it had to be a Jeff.
>>
>> The drying pond had left pretty much all of the spotted salamander eggs up
>> on dry land, so, without too much thought, I took one of the drying masses
>> back down to our house and plopped it in the tank with our healthy
>> woodfrogs.
>>
>> Our woodfrogs were just starting metamorphosis in the tank, but within a
>> week, they started dying rapidly.  A few made it to froglet stage, but
>> even those pretty much all died over the 3-day span ending today.  Many
>> were bloated with internal bleeding. Needless to say, it’s been hard on
>> the kids.
>>
>> So, insights?  Any other reports of Jeffs (well, probably LLJ unisexual)
>> getting hit by such a thing?  What about our spotteds in the tank - which
>> still seem healthy.  Will they keel over at metamorphosis too? (I need to
>> prepare the kids for what’s coming.)  Did they infect our tank, or were
>> the woodfrogs doomed anyway (like, was it in their system the whole larval
>> stage and just took over during the stress of metamorphosis)?  If it’s
>> ranavirus, how long can it persist on dry surfaces?
>>
>> I posted some pics here:
>> https://twitter.com/naturenoah/status/1275292464837021696?s=21
>>
>> And video here:
>> https://twitter.com/naturenoah/status/1275293746243002369?s=21
>>
>> Thanks!
>> -Noah
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> ~~~
>> Twitter: @NatureNoah
>> Website: www.NoahCharney.org
>>
>
>
>
>


--
"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that
created it." Albert Einstein




Frank Parisio
 

Noah, 

In my experience it returns the following year even if the pool dries. Folks from the U of Tennessee I believe tested some dry pool basins for presence of the the virus in the sediment and did find it. So that may be where it harbors. You’ll notice that signs of disease appear after limbs have budded on the tadpoles. This is believed to be because when they grow their limbs, their immune response is lowered to conserve energy. Then the virus replicates quickly and becomes pathogenic. 

If the pool dries early, as it has this year in some locations and tadpoles die early from a lack of water, I’ve found anecdotal evidence that suggests that the virus won’t be shed enough to persist in the sediment layer and emerge the following year. This is just a suspicion. 

Lots of mystery around this disease. 

Frank


On Jun 23, 2020, at 8:51 AM, Noah Charney <ndcharney@...> wrote:


Once it’s in a vernal pool, does it just stay there, persisting in dry soil or mollusks through the off-season, or does it have to get reintroduced by herps the next year?

I’m attaching pics.

(ps, I meant LJJ unisexuals in my prior email)

-Noah


On Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at 8:20 AM Mary Thomas <wzzw19@...> wrote:
Hi Noah.

I don't do twitter. Would you be willing to attach your photos to a
post on this List?

So sorry the kids had to experience this. What grade is it?

Thanks.
Mary

On 6/23/20, Frank Parisio via groups.io <fparisio=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
> Hi Noah,
>
> It does appear from the pictures and your observations that Ranavirus is at
> least a suspect at play here. But the only way to confirm solidly is through
> a pathology lab that can run qPCR and possibly do histology on samples of
> the tadpoles. Classic signs of Ranavirus infection include the bloating,
> mouth avulsions, and hemorrhages. This seems to be what you’ve been
> witnessing. Other signs are ataxia while swimming and lethargy. Non-tadpole
> behavior.
>
> I have been monitoring Ranavirus outbreaks at two pools in the Catskills of
> NYS since 2013. The virus is a devastating emerging infectious disease that
> seems to kill off most of the tadpole mass within a short period of time. No
> idea how or why it popped up. But as you wrote, bleaching your gear is
> essential to not accidentally spread. I typically make a 5-6% solution and
> blast my waders and boots in between each wetland.
>
> Lastly, wood frogs have been studied and found to be especially vulnerable
> to Ranavirus. They die more rapidly and spread it amongst themselves through
> touching more rapidly than Ambystomatids. The best time to capture and
> submit samples for testing is when the tadpoles are moribund and not dead
> and necrotic. Timing is everything. Check out ranavirus.org for more info.
>
> Good luck,
>
> Frank
>>> On Jun 23, 2020, at 1:15 AM, Noah Charney <ndcharney@...> wrote:
>> 
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I know very little about pathogens, so any insight would be appreciated.
>> Back in April, we collected some woodfrog eggs from an isolated vernal
>> pool in Sunderland, MA to rear for a homeschool project.  Out of habit, we
>> bleached all equipment that we used beforehand (none of which had been
>> used in a long time).  The pond was full of spotted and Jefferson
>> salamander eggs and has all the classic VP inverts, way up in old forest.
>>
>> On June 12, as the pond was rapidly drying up, I saw that all of the
>> woodfrog tadpoles were swimming in a solid clump in the center of the pond
>> kissing the surface, creating froth around them, which seemed like really
>> strange behavior (is that normal?).  There was also a half-dead bloated
>> salamander larva floating belly-up right next to them.  The salamander
>> seemed large for this time of year, and frankly I didn’t recognize it - I
>> figure it’s too advanced for spotted, so I guess it had to be a Jeff.
>>
>> The drying pond had left pretty much all of the spotted salamander eggs up
>> on dry land, so, without too much thought, I took one of the drying masses
>> back down to our house and plopped it in the tank with our healthy
>> woodfrogs.
>>
>> Our woodfrogs were just starting metamorphosis in the tank, but within a
>> week, they started dying rapidly.  A few made it to froglet stage, but
>> even those pretty much all died over the 3-day span ending today.  Many
>> were bloated with internal bleeding. Needless to say, it’s been hard on
>> the kids.
>>
>> So, insights?  Any other reports of Jeffs (well, probably LLJ unisexual)
>> getting hit by such a thing?  What about our spotteds in the tank - which
>> still seem healthy.  Will they keel over at metamorphosis too? (I need to
>> prepare the kids for what’s coming.)  Did they infect our tank, or were
>> the woodfrogs doomed anyway (like, was it in their system the whole larval
>> stage and just took over during the stress of metamorphosis)?  If it’s
>> ranavirus, how long can it persist on dry surfaces?
>>
>> I posted some pics here:
>> https://twitter.com/naturenoah/status/1275292464837021696?s=21
>>
>> And video here:
>> https://twitter.com/naturenoah/status/1275293746243002369?s=21
>>
>> Thanks!
>> -Noah
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> ~~~
>> Twitter: @NatureNoah
>> Website: www.NoahCharney.org
>>
>
>
>
>


--
"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that
created it." Albert Einstein



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Mark Mandica
 

Hi Noah 

During my undergrad, I witnessed a ranavirus die off at our study site in South Hadley. It's horrible. There are a few causes that can present as you have pictured. If you can, I would take a swab, and have it tested to know for sure.

We generally use the San Diego Amphibian Disease Lab: https://institute.sandiegozoo.org/resources/amphibian-disease-laboratory

I have no direct experience with ranavirus impact on the Ambystoma, but tagged Amanda Duffus in your Twitter post to see if she can shed any light.