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Brunner Lab News

Ranavirus found in Madagascar amphibians… new paper published

Kolby, J. E., K. M. Smith, S. D. Ramirez, F. Rabemananjara, A. P. Pessier, J. L. Brunner, C. S. Goldberg, L. Berger, and L. F. Skerratt. 2015. Rapid Response to Evaluate the Presence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus in Wild Amphibian Populations in Madagascar. PLoS ONE 10:e0125330.

Paper on widespread ranavirus infections in wood frogs published

The distribution of ranavirus infections in the eastern range of wood frogs
The distribution of ranavirus infections in the eastern range of wood frogs

Crespi, E. J., L. J. Rissler, N. M. Mattheus, K. Engbrecht, S. I. Duncan, T. Seaborn, E. M. Hall, J. D. Peterson, and J. L. Brunner. 2015. Geophysiology of Wood Frogs: Landscape Patterns of Prevalence of Disease and Circulating Hormone Concentrations across the Eastern Range. Integrative and Comparative Biology 55:602-617.

This started as a side project, but became a long labor of love. There are a lot of surprises in here such as the fact that ranaviruses, which tend to kill the vast majority of wood frogs we expose in the lab, are common in adults returning to breed. I think these persistent infections of an otherwise lethal virus are crucial for ranavirus persistence in highly seasonal populations.

Cami Jones’ paper on tick feeding success published

Jones, C. R., J. L. Brunner, G. A. Scoles, and J. P. Owen. 2015. Factors affecting larval tick feeding success: host, density and time. Parasites and Vectors 8:340.

Cami was in Jeb Owen’s lab. She showed, among other interesting things in the paper, that while feeding success varied a great deal among mice, the differences were not consistent from feeding to feeding. In other words, there’s a lot of noise, but it’s not because some mice are just bad at grooming or killings ticks while others are not. Food for thought.

Emily’s paper on eDNA detection of ranavirus published

Figure from new paper
Viral titers in eDNA against time from an observed epidemic.

Hall, E. M., E. J. Crespi, C. S. Goldberg, and J. L. Brunner. 2015. Evaluating environmental DNA-based quantification of ranavirus infection in wood frog populations. Molecular Ecology Resources DOI: 10.1111/1755-0998.12461.

This is going to be the start of a series showing how well eDNA can work. Nice work, Emily!

Global Ranavirus Reporting System (GRRS) is now live!

The Global Ranavirus Reporting System (GRRS) is now live!

Map of Ranavirus in wood frogs
The distribution of ranavirus records in the Crespi et al. 2015 paper

The GRSS allows you to create and manage records for Ranavirus studies and reports, import and export data, view tables and maps of reports, and leave reviews and comments on reports. It should be an invaluable resource and research tool.

This system was constructed by the amazing group at the EcoHealth Alliance (Andrew Huff, Russell Horton, Nathan Breit, Amy Slagle) and designed in collaboration with several GRC members (me, Amanda Duffus, Matt Gray, Debra Miller) and largely funded by the U.S. Forest Service (Dede Olson). Thank to all of them for making this a reality.

The key is going to be getting record entered.   You can upload cases as individual records or in bulk with a CSV file.  After files are uploaded, a database manager will inspect them before they are released publicly.  Records can be shared with the public fully or obfuscated.  Video and written instructions are provided on the GRRS website.  Additionally, questions and suggestions for improvement can be emailed to me ( or Amanda Duffus ( or Jesse Brunner

New open-access book on ranaviruses published

A great deal of hard work went into both writing this book and making it open access. Jesse was involved in two chapters in particular:

Brunner, J. L., A. Storfer, M. J. Gray, and J. T. Hoverman. 2015. Ranavirus ecology and evolution: from epidemiology to extinction. Pages 71-104 in Gray, M. J., and V. G. Chinchar, editors. Ranaviruses: Lethal pathogens of ectothermic vertebrates. Springer, Seac, New Jersey.

Gray, M. J., J. L. Brunner, J. E. Earl, and E. Ariel. 2015. Design and Analysis of Ranavirus Studies: Surveillance and Assessing Risk. Pages 209-240 in Gray, M. J., and V. G. Chinchar, editors. Ranaviruses: Lethal pathogens of ectothermic vertebrates. Springer, Seac, New Jersey.

The whole book can be found here, for free!