Cause of death in frogs assessed by way of survey


<div>Evira collected information on the mortality of frogs during the period 6.6 – 30.9.2008 (press release 6.6.2008) in cooperation with experts from the Finnish Museum of Natural History. The intention was to clarify whether the ranavirus is a cause of death in wild frogs in Finland. </div>

Little information was received from the survey. There were no observations of extensive mortality reported via the internet survey. During the period that the survey was carried out, only seven frogs that had died in the wild were studied at Evira, using the methods developed in the project studying ranaviruses. Ranaviruses were not found in these frogs. Our results indicate that Finnish frogs are still free from this disease.

Ranaviruses are pathogenic only for amphibians, fish and reptiles. The disease is not contagious to humans or other animals. Ranaviruses have caused disease outbreaks and mortality in fish and amphibians in Australia, Asia and USA: In Europe ranaviruses have been found in frogs in Great Britain, Italy and Croatia.

Mass death of frogs caused by a ranavirus was reported recently for the first time in Denmark (DTU press release 1.10.2008):
In research carried out at Evira it was confirmed that the pathogen was a ranavirus. Monitoring of the mortality of Finnish frogs will continue next summer, as only a small number of samples were collected during the survey.

More information on the project, on symptoms of ranavirus infection in frogs: > Research on animal diseases and food > Scientific research  > Current research rrojects > Risk assessment of new and emerging systemic iridoviral diseases for European fish and aquatic ecosystems (RANA)

For more information please contact:
Senior Researcher Hannele Tapiovaara, Evira, Veterinary Virology Research Unit, tel. 020 77 24589, Available 3.10.-6.10.2008, away 7.10.-10.10.2008

Researcher Riikka Holopainen, Evira, Veterinary Virology Research Unit, tel. 020 77 24579,

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