Co-exposure to multiple Ranavirus types enhances viral infectivity and replication in a larval amphibian system Journal Article uri icon



  • AbstractMultiple pathogens commonly co-occur in animal populations, yet few studies demonstrate how co-exposure of individual hosts scales up to affect transmission. Although viruses in the genus Ranavirus are globally widespread and multiple virus species or strains likely co-occur in nature, no studies have examined how co-exposure affects infection dynamics in larval amphibians. We exposed individual Rana aurora (Northern red-legged frog) larvae to Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV), frog virus 3 (FV3), or an FV3-like strain isolated from a frog-culturing facility in Georgia, USA (RCV-Z2). We compared single-virus to pairwise co-exposures, while experimentally accounting for dosage. Co-exposure to ATV and FV3-like strains resulted in almost twice as many infected individuals compared to single-virus exposures, suggesting an effect of co-exposure on viral infectivity. The viral load in infected individuals exposed to ATV and FV3 was also higher than the single-dose FV3 treatment, suggesting an effect of co-exposure on viral replication. In a follow-up experiment, we examined how the co-occurrence of ATV and FV3 affected epizootics in mesocosm populations of larval Pseudacris triseriata (Western chorus frog). Although ATV did not generally establish within host populations (<4% prevalence), when ATV and FV3 were both present, this co-exposure resulted in a larger epizootic of FV3. Our results emphasize the importance of multi-pathogen interactions in epizootic dynamics and have management implications for natural and commercial amphibian populations.

publication date

  • May 24, 2018

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • November 9, 2021 3:29 AM

Full Author List

  • Mihaljevic JR; Hoverman JT; Johnson PTJ

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles