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A new powerful ranavirus has been discovered that can spread to amphibians.

A new study published in the journal “Environmental Modeling” and prepared by researchers at the University of Tennessee shows the existence of a new ranavirus, similar to the virus 3 (FV3) frog.

The new ranavirus, called RCV-Z2, may, according to researchers who have developed a special model to predict its spread, spread equally rapidly in the population of tadpoles of North American forest frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus), and transmission can be very effective through direct contact, through the necrophagous (feeding from the body of other infected people) or even through water.

Ranaviruses are pathogenic microorganisms that appear around the world and mainly affect reptiles, amphibians and fish, threatening the ecological diversity of these species and therefore the entire environment in which they live. To combat the emergence of the Ranavierus, which has become global, researcher Matt Grey founded and runs the Global Ranavirus Consortium.

Grey himself notes in a press release published on the website of the University of Tennessee: “In our previous work, we found that RCV-Z2 is a recombinant ranavirus with strain DNA in North America and strain DNA in Europe and Asia. We believe that these viruses mixed DNA on a frog farm in South Georgia, resulting in a very virulent hybrid virus. The purpose of the simulation was to demonstrate how the virus evolved from eastern hemispheric DNA and can infect and spread to amphibian species. The news is not very good.”

This is without taking into account the trade in amphibians and other wildlife that may be susceptible to these infections: with this trade, their pathogens can move around the world, which can make the infection truly global.

Janice Walker

Janice Walker is a biologist (having graduated from Prescott College in 2013) and an experienced writer. She currently works as a pharmacist, contributing research and content to during her nights and weekends. During her time at Prescott College she was an active contributor to her student journal and hopes to grow up as a well established, popular science blog.
Janice Walker