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Fighting Fungi

July 12, 2017

Scientists may learn how to deal with fungal disease by fighting a frog pandemic.



Learning to fight fungal disease. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Saving the world’s frogs might be reason enough to fight the global frog-killing fungus known as chytrid. After all, frogs are enormously important to wetlands ecosystems. But Smithsonian National Zoo conservation biologist Brian Gratwicke says fighting the chytrid pandemic will also help us face future fungal attacks that could target us.

BRIAN GRATWICKE (Smithsonian National Zoological Park):

This is a pandemic that is affecting an entire class of vertebrates and we actually have a real opportunity to understand global pandemics, and what are options are for fighting them.


Gratwicke explains that vaccines and antibiotics used to stop viral and bacterial outbreaks are useless against fungal diseases. Coming up with new weapons to stop chytrid today could help stop human-targeted fungal outbreaks in the future. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon