For the past few days I have been in State College, Pennsylvania at an Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease (EEID) conference. At the conference, I presented a poster on the microbial diversity of spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) skin, watched several seminars on infectious disease, and enjoyed some delicious food and good conversations. The EEID conference is a small research conference for primarily disease ecologists. Speakers gave talks on the history and treatment of the influenza virus, microbial diversity on the human body, gut microbiota of bumble bees, and the impact of social networks on disease transmission, among other things.
Although many researchers focused on human or mammalian diseases, there were a few chytrid people that I had the privilege of meeting. Two students from the City College of New York both presented posters on projects about chytrid in the same room that I had my poster in. One project was a pilot study on the microbial lineages isolated from a couple of gladiator treefrogs (Hypsiboas faber) in Brazil. The other focused on environmental factors impacting chytrid prevalence in Australia. This study was along the lines of one conducted in Costa Rica, and several studies by Kriger in Australia. Kriger found that both breeding habitat and latitude influenced the prevalence and intensity of chytrid, with more infections in small frogs and adults breeding in permanent waterbodies. All in all, the EEID conference was fascinating and informative, and gave me a new perspective on the spread of infectious disease.