a1 Institute of Zoology, Regent's Park, London, UK
a2 CSIRO Livestock Industries, Australian Animal Health Laboratories, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
a3 Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases, Royal Veterinary College, London, UK
During investigations of epidemic frog mortality in Britain, a novel fatal systemic haemorrhagic disease of common toads was discovered. This disease resembles a systemic haemorrhagic disease of common frogs in Britain, which is one of a range of fatal disease syndromes, characterized by systemic haemorrhages, skin ulceration or a combination of these lesions, caused by ranavirus infection. Ranavirus previously isolated from diseased toads was inoculated into common frogs to evaluate if this virus could infect and cause disease in common frogs. All virus-inoculated frogs died with systemic haemorrhages between 6 and 8 days post-inoculation, giving similar results to those produced by the inoculation of frogs with ranavirus cultured from naturally diseased frogs. These results indicate that the same, or similar, viruses are affecting both frogs and toads in the field and confirm that ranavirus has emerged as an important cause of amphibian mortality in Britain.
(Accepted December 07 2006)
(Online publication February 05 2007)