New viruses ‘killing amphibians’ in Spain

Common Midwife Toad

The common midwife toad is one of several species that have been hit by the new strains of Ranavirus.

(SOURCE)  A deadly new disease has emerged that is wiping out amphibians, scientists report.

A number of viruses have been found in northern Spain that are killing frog, toad and newt species. Infected animals can suffer from ulcers on their skin and die from internal bleeding.

Researchers fear the strains, which belong to the Ranavirus group, have already spread to other countries.

The study is published in the journal Current Biology.

Lead author Dr Stephen Price, from University College London, said: “Until the outbreaks, we didn’t really know about this lineage of virus.

“But since these die-offs began, we’ve started to see them elsewhere – in China in giant salamanders, and it looks like they are emerging in places like France and the Netherlands as well.”

Common midwife toad haemorrhaging

The viruses cause internal haemorrhaging and some animals have large open sores on their skin.

 It is a pretty graphic disease with a high kill-rate”

Dr Stephen Price UCL

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