One lab's fight against the froggy fungus

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Royal Society fungal meeting

Today we are a tired but elated group having just come back from a fantastic conference organised by our boss Prof. Mat Fisher and Profs Sarah Gurr and Neil Gow. This 4-day event was hosted by the Royal Society and was aptly named ‘Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience’. It brought together world leaders in plant, wildlife and human mycological research and attracted attendees from every continent. It was an excellent opportunity to compare progress in combating fungal disease in hitherto separate fields and to draw parallels between diagnoses, treatment and prevention of fungal infections.

With a growing focus on food security and sustainability for a growing global population it is important that we find a solution for crop losses due to fungal pathogens; especially now that the distributions of many are changing and expanding due to climate change. It was shocking to hear Prof. Sarah Gurr talk of the five major fungal crop diseases- wheat stem rust, rice blast, corn smut, soybean rust & potato late blight- and inform us that “if all five struck simultaneously we would only have enough food to feed 37% of the world’s population”. It is not just the impact of these diseases on a global level, but also on an individual level; with many farmers losing their livelihood in affected regions. In Kenya, shockingly, 74% of rice farmers declared bankruptcy during the last outbreak of rice blast. Something needs to be done, and lots of things ARE being done, by very smart people from all over the world. To avoid Prof. Gurr’s worst-case scenario there needs to be cooperation between scientists, policy-makers and farmers, and it is within all of our interests to make this happen.

Next onto the under-estimated burden of fungal diseases in humans. In 2014, the annual global death toll for TB was 1.5 million people and for malaria was 438,000 whilst over 1.6 million individuals succumbed to fungal infections. (This was even picked up by the Daily Mail in 2015! Many of the fungi associated with human diseases are commensal and can be found on the skin, in the airways, and in the environment of all humans beings; however they cause problems when we become immunocompromised and are unable to maintain our body’s defences. We heard how fungi form giant cells that are too large to be engulfed by macrophages and others that replicate within the macrophages once engulfed, and about the growing problem of azole drug resistance in treating human fungal infections. Solutions include improved diagnosis of fungal infections, wider access to antifungal drugs, development of new antifungal drugs, combating widespread antifungal resistance by managing their use in the environment, and research on antifungal vaccines; including vaccinating with yeast to protect against pathogenic fungi. Here is one of ours presenting her poster on azole drug resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus:


Then came those like us at Chytrid Crisis, researching emerging fungal diseases in wildlife, from whom we heard about catastrophic declines due to White Nose Syndrome in bats and Snake Fungal Disease in snakes. We heard from those also researching Bd and Bsal- including Karen Lips who was in Panama when mass declines due to Bd were first observed, Frank Pasmans who has been working on Bsal since it caused the population crash of European salamanders in the Netherlands, and Trent Garner who gave a brilliant overview of potential mitigation strategies for Bd. The parallels between these bat, snake and amphibian diseases are striking and we need to work together to save these species, and others, that are threatened by emerging fungal pathogens. Here is our group presenting posters on different aspects of Bd research:

If you would like to find out more about the conference visit the Twitter archive at:


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Bd eliminated from Mallorcan ponds

***Fresh off the press*** Today heralds a good day for amphibians! Bosch et al have just reported in Biology Letters their success in eliminating the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) from wild populations of Alytes muletensis in Mallorca ( The study presents a rapid response strategy driven by the decline of the IUCN red-listed Mallorcan midwife toad; the single amphibian host for Bd on the island. The study took place over five years and is based upon five permanent ponds at two different sites in Mallorca where infection with Bd had previously been reported. The successful approach involved draining the ponds, spraying the surrounding environment with disinfectant, treating tadpoles and terrestrial A.muletensis with antifungals and returning them to their original ponds once refilled by autumn rains. Returned animals were then monitored and remained free from infection in the two following years at four of the five sites.

This study is exciting in that it is the first of its kind to successfully eliminate Bd from wild populations in vivo. It comes at a time when amphibian species are declining at an alarming rate, with over 200 species reported as extinct due to chytridiomycosis and many more threatened with extinction. Existing strategies for mitigation involve maintaining disease-free captive-bred colonies and enhanced biosecurity, and strategies in development include host application of probiotics and environmental application of anti-Bd chemicals; however attempts at immunisation have thus far been unsuccessful. Whilst environmental use of Virkon S may be controversial and its impact on microbial biodiversity needs to be further assessed, it is currently one of only a few chemicals with antifungal properties against Bd. As yet, no one has found another way of effectively mitigating Bd in the wild, so this represents a huge step forward in the fight against chytridiomycosis. As this disease pushes more amphibian species nearer the brink of extinction we need to act fast and this study presents a much-needed rapid, inexpensive, straightforward and scalable way to combat infection as soon as it is discovered.


Adult Mallorcan Midwife Toad (Alytes muletensi)

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Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans found in the UK

We’ve been pretty quiet with what we’ve been up to lately, and that’s because we’ve been busy working on salamanders from the U.K. which have died from B.sal., reported in Vet Records today (

B.sal. is closely related to Bd and, like Bd, causes chytridiomycosis in susceptible amphibians. Unlike Bd, this fungus so far only appears to be capable of causing lethal chytridiomycosis in salamanders and newts, but is highly pathogenic for many species within these groups. The fungus was only described in 2013 following a 96% enigmatic decline of fire salamanders in the Netherlands in just two years. “Salamandrivorans” translates to “salamander-eating”, and is an apt description of the effects of the fungus. The thalli are intracellular, buried in the skin cells of the salamander where they cause erosive lesions. The group from Ghent University who first described B.sal. found that infected fire salamanders developed lesions and deep ulcerations all over the body, became anorexic, apathetic and suffered from neurological symptoms including a loss of voluntary movement and muscle coordination. Death followed within 7 days of symptoms first appearing.

Salamandra salamandra

European Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra)

Until now, the U.K. has been, as far as we knew, free of B.sal.. Great Crested Newts, a protected species under U.K. law, are known to be susceptible to the fungus so there are real conservation concerns following its arrival. All infected animals to date have been imported captive exotics which developed symptoms and either died or were euthanised while still under quarantine. It was possible to detect the fungus quickly and contain the infected animals due to the vigilance of the zoological collection in testing their salamanders for disease and maintaining strict quarantine procedures. Hopefully this will mean that the fungus will not have had a chance to escape into wild populations. With collaborators at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, and ZSL we can now work on finding out the source of infection and whether other collections in the UK are likely to have been affected.

It is crucial to prevent this pathogen escaping into our native, wild populations of amphibians – therefore, if you are vet, a breeder, a retailer, a hobbyist, or in any other way work with amphibians it is vitally important to instigate strict biosecurity controls. Protocols appropriate for Bd are also appropriate for B.sal. and can be found here.


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Chytrid fighting work around the world is continuing its rapid pace in 2015 with lots of exciting studies advancing our understanding of how Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (B.d.) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (B.sal.) infect and interact with frogs in wild populations. Our whole lab decamped for a weekend from St Mary’s Hospital to Cambridge to go to the Amphibian Conservation Research Symposium 2015. The huge range of innovative amphibian research going on was fantastic, and some of the new monitoring ideas were truly inspired!

Here are some particularly recent, quality studies highlighting quirks, complexities and confusions of conservation when you’re fighting the froggy fungus, as well as some especially exciting and unusual talks from ACRS 2015.

1) Elevated Corticosterone Levels and Changes in Amphibian Behaviour Are Associated with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) Infection and Bd Lineage

Authors: Caitlin R. Gabor, Matthew C. Fisher, Jamie Bosch

This study looked at interactions between Bd infection intensity, elevation, and Corticosteroid (CORT) levels in tadpoles and metamorphs of Alytes spp. Bd is known to have variable infection outcomes depending on a wide range of environmental, host and pathogen factors. Altitude, for reasons not yet entirely clear, is known to often be associated with higher levels infection intensity and worse disease outcome. Many amphibian keepers will tell you that they have had seemingly healthy animals suddenly begin to develop symptoms of chytridiomycosis on being exposed to a stressful situation, such as being but in quarantine. What is not known is how or if these factors can interact, and whether the level of virulence of the infecting strain influences how important these elements are. The study used an innovative non-invasive sampling measure (something that is particularly important for a study looking at stress responses!) shown below.


Alytes obstetricans in beakers – hormone levels are recorded from the levels present in the water

The infecting lineage of BdGPL infection was found to result in significantly higher CORT release rates than BdCape infection. As well as this, there was a significant interaction between altitude Bd infection status, confirming previous studies and suspicions that altitude increases Bd susceptibility while CORT levels were also seen to increase with elevation. Interestingly, it was also found that CORT release rates were higher when metamorphs were infected with BdGPL as compared to infection with BdCape.

The results of this study indicate that CORT levels are associated with susceptibility to Bd infection, and that CORT is itself affected by the Bd lineage infection type and that altitude and stress levels may both have an impact on Bd infection outcome. All of this makes CORT a viable biomarker of amphibian stress levels, providing a new angle with which to assess Bd susceptibility.

2) Amphibian Symbiotic Bacteria Do Not Show Universal Ability to Inhibit Growth of the Global Pandemic Lineage of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

Authors: Rachael Antwis, Richard Preziosi, Xavier Harrison, Trenton Garner

The field of amphibian skin microbiome and probiotics research is really taking off – many people have their hopes pinned to augmenting the skin microbiome of amphibians to halt the scourge of Bd on susceptible amphibian populations. The problem is that even within lineages, Bd displays huge levels of genotypic diversity so it’s difficult to know whether a bacteria that inhibits the growth of one isolate of Bd will inhibit the growth of other isolates of Bd.

There are two issues addressed in this study:

1) Whether candidate probiotics exhibit broad-spectrum inhibition of multiple isolates of BdGPL

2) Whether it is possible to predict broad-spectrum candidate probiotics according to taxonomy

In fact, only a small proportion of the candidate bacteria inhibited growth of all three of the BdGPL isolates they were tested against. In addition, although some bacterial genera showed greater levels of inhibition than others, genus and species could not reliably be used to predict the capability of a probiotic to inhibit a wide range of BdGPL isolates. This work suggests that if we are to use probiotics to address the Bd threat, a cocktail of bacteria is more likely to be much more effective than a single innoculation. In short, the pathogen and host microbiome relationship is really complicated!

3) Composition of Symbiotic Bacteria Predicts Survival in Panamanian Golden Frogs Infected With a Lethal Fungus

Authors: Matthew Becker, Jenifer Walke, Shawna Cikanek, Anna Savage, Nichole Mattheus, Celina Santiago, Kevin Minbiole, Reid Harris, Lisa Belden, Brain Gatwicke

Panamian Golden Frog (photo credit: Brain Gatwicke)

Panamian Golden Frog (photo credit: Brain Gatwicke)

In a similar vein to the paper above, the composition of the bacterial community on an amphibian’s skin was found to be key to predicting survival of Bd infection. Panamaniam Golden Frogs (Atelopus zeteki) are classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, due to the impact of chytridiomycosis. They are extinct in the wild, only now existing as captive assurance populations.

Golden Frogs were innoculated with Bd-inhibitory bacteria from Bd-tolerant frogs also from Panama. Following infection with Bd, 30% of Golden Frogs survived, but what was surprising was that this effect was not associated with the probiotic treatment. Instead, the initial composition of the bacterial community and its associated metabolites on the Golden Frog’s skin was found to be the key factor related to survival. This backs up the call of the authors in the second paper, that it is the microbial community as a whole that will have to be investigated if we are to go down the probiotic route for disease mitigation.

3) Using Sniffer Dogs to Track Down Endangered Amphibians (and Chytrid?)

Esther Matthew, speaker at ACRS 2015

Esther Matthew, of Che Weldon’s research group at North-West University in South Africa has hit upon a truly novel new way of monitoring a highly cryptic and (in South Africa) vulnerable frog population. The Giant African Bullfrog aestivates below ground for up to 11 months at a time, only emerging for a few weeks at a time. They’re vulnerable to increasing levels of urbanisation and development as they’re difficult to detect when environmental impact surveys are carried out.

Jessie the border collie has been trained by Esther to find live bullfrogs living below the soil (she can detect a bullfrog scent diluted to a factor of up to 1:100000), and bullfrog scents over 5 months old as well as being capable of tracking live frogs over their cross-waterway movements. In the future she’ll be trained to detect other endangered amphibians, and there’s some murmurings about training her to sniff out which frogs are infected with Bd – could we see Jessie’s protégés sniffing out infected trade amphibians at airport security check points soon?

4) Turning a Frog into a Prince!

Arun Kanagavel, speaker at ACRS 2015

Cultural context is key for encouraging amphibian conservation

Kanagacel: Cultural context is key for encouraging amphibian conservation

Arun Kanagavel, an EDGE fellowship holder working in the Western Ghatsin India, has been addressing a problem faced by all lovers of amphibians – how to convince people that amphibians can work as flagship species worthy of contributing time and money towards for their conservation?

As expected, aesthetics played a huge role in people, particularly the general public, being willing to donate time and money to the conservation of a particular species. However, there was light at the end of the tunnel! Cultural significance was important, particularly for indigenous communities, as was rarity. People were willing to donate time and money to frog conservation, particularly when it was linked to more wholistic forest conservation. Maybe a wider range people are more interested in the weird and wonderful world of amphibians than we think!

5) Amphibian Conservation From A Chytridiomycosis Perspective 

Annemarieke Spitzen, Speaker at ACRS  2015

Spitzen: Mass mortality of frogs due to chytridiomycosis

Spitzen: Mass mortality of amphiibians due to chytridiomycosis

Annemarieke Sptizen, from Ghent University in the Netherlands described the sudden population collapse of the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) due to an outbreak of chytridiomycosis caused by the (then) novel pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. Despite strong similarities between Bd and Bsal they differ in their ecological niches. The alarming potential consequence of this is that amphibians not affected by one, may be susceptible to the other. Combined with global trade and traffic that ease their global spread, these two pathogens could between them cause total collapse of amphibian populations, which would in turn disturb ecosystem stability globally.

A worrying thought, but somewhat alleviated knowing that such great research and management is being done worldwide to address the myriad of threats faced by amphibians. Leaving the conference there was certainly a strong sense of optimism – amphibian conservation is gathering pace, and showing no signs of stopping any time soon!

ACRS 2015

ACRS 2015, Cambridge

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Bd isolation from French Guiana

Last week was clear out week for the toe clip and tadpole mouthparts that hadn’t produced any Bd zoospores or sporangia or were full of contamination by other fungi and bacteria. That was a lot of samples to throw out – the success rate for Bd isolation is extremely low (about 1/100) but it’s still difficult to throw away so many samples that we all worked so hard to collect!

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82 samples for the bin

BUT two samples, numbers 32 and 184, started producing zoospores and sporangia and we are now in the process of culturing them. With any luck, we’ll be able to grow up these cultures and carry out DNA sequencing to shed some more light on what type of Bd is in French Guiana. The pictures below are from the early stages of the isolation. Bd normally grows well at 18ºC in liquid medium with antibiotics added. These two seem a little different however – at this early stage they appear to be doing better without antibiotics, and growth is fairly slow at 18ºC, so we’re mixing it up a bit and trying some higher temperatures (they’ve come from the tropics, after all!). We aren’t yet home and dry, they’re growing slowly, but now we know for sure that Bd is in French Guiana and that it is possible to isolate it despite the distinctly un-sterile conditions! The first sign that you might have caught Bd is when you spot the motile zoospores – the Chytridiomycota, the phylum which Bd belongs to, is unusual among fungi in that it reproduces via motile zoospores which are released from the large sporangia. In this video you can see the tiny zoospores darting around the larger, fixed sporangia.


1) Isolate 32 – Sporangia in toe clip skin 2) Isolate 184 – Sporangia and zoospores 3) Isolate 184 – Fungal contamination

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Anamoglossus baeobatrachus (L) & Allobates femoralis (R)

Isolate 32 is from an Anamoglossus baeobatrachus, isolate 184 is from an Allobates femoralis. Now that we’ve found them, we need to keep them alive, grow them up and get some DNA sequencing done on them. Getting them into a pure cell culture is likely to be challenging, but even if we stumble at that hurdle, we’ve shown that it is possible to isolate whatever the Bd is in French Guiana, even in (to put it mildly) less than sterile laboratory conditions. Meanwhile over the next few weeks we’ll be extracting the DNA from all the swabs and carrying out qPCR to get an idea of Bd prevalence and intensity in Nouragues.

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The first of many, many DNA extractions

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Bd found in Madagascar

A paper in Nature Scientific Reports today (co-authored by our very own Prof. Mat Fisher) reveals that Bd has been detected in native, wild populations of Malagasy amphibians. This is a huge development in the area of Chytrid research and amphibian conservation – but there’s no way of knowing right now how serious it is, or even whether it could have positive implications for amphibian conservation globally.

Below is a summary of our lab group’s thoughts on the paper, and it’s implications for amphibian conservation and Chytrid research.

The impact of chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease of amphibians caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been described as ‘the most spectacular loss of vertebrate biodiversity due to disease in recorded history” (Skerratt, et al., 2007). Detection of the pathogen in Madagascar, published in Nature Scientific Reports today, is therefore of huge concern to the conservation community. Madagascar has an amphibian genera endemism of 88% and the 12th highest amphibian species richness in the world (Andreone, et al., 2008) making it megadiverse for amphibians. However, this amphibian biodiversity hotspot is already under severe pressures, with 25% of species threatened according to the latest Global Amphibian Assessment (Andreone, et al., 2012). A well-founded fear is the possibility that the detection of Bd could herald the coming of mass amphibian declines, such as those seen in the Neotropics and Western USA (Lips, et al., 2006; Vredenburg, et al., 2010).

Lineage specific testing of the Bd positive samples has suggested that the Bd present is most closely related to BdGPL, the hyper-virulent lineage behind all known chytrid-driven declines to date. As yet however, no clinical signs of chytridiomycosis are apparent in Madagascar, and the infection intensities reported today are extremely low (about 0.1 zoospore genomic equivalent). This presents four scenarios to be investigated as a priority:

  • That Bd has recently arrived in Madagascar, that it is invasive, and is the hypervirulent lineage Bd The comprehensive monitoring plan set in place by the ACSAM (A Conservation Strategy for the Amphibians of Madagascar) has worked as planned, and the pathogen has been detected before amphibian declines have occurred.
  • That the Bd detected has recently arrived in Madagascar, but is a hypovirulent lineage and is unlikely to cause mass amphibian declines. This was seen with the introduction of the hypovirulent lineage BdCape into Alytes muletensis populations on Mallorca.
  • That the Bd detected in Madgascar has been present on the island for a long time already, but was not previously detected. The Bd may be an endemic, hypovirulent lineage as seen in Brazil and Asia, where endemic lineages appear to have long established evolutionary relationships with native amphibians.
  • There is an endemic, previously undetected chytrid on the island, which may or may not be a new lineage of Bd, which could be buffering local amphibians against a new invasion of BdGPL by acting as a natural vaccine. Alternatively, the amphibians of Madagascar could have some intrinsic resistance to Bd, for example through protective bacteria in their skin microbiome. This could explain the low infection intensities seen and the ambiguous diagnostic results where some Bd positive samples did not test positive with any lineage specific diagnostic tests. Although rare, resistance to BdGPL where the pathogen is emerging is not unprecedented, as documented in Brazil (Lips, 2014).

Scenario 1 would be a potential environmental disaster for Malagasy amphibians, and as such this possibility must be investigated as a top priority. If this scenario turns out to be true, the various conservation and scientific partners involved in ACSAM will need to focus on disease mitigation by restricting further spread of the fungus, identifying and closing potential routes of fungal spread (invasive species, such as the Asian Toad, ensuring tourists and researchers stick to strict hygiene protocols) and consider more drastic conservation measures such as taking individuals from particularly vulnerable populations into captivity.

Scenario 4, on the other hand, is an intriguing possibility. Understanding how Malagasy amphibians are resisting a BdGPL invasion, if this turns out to be the case, could provide valuable information to help mitigate the impact of Bd in other areas. The pace of research on the amphibian skin microbiome, for example, and its’ role as part of the amphibian immune system is increasing and producing some exciting results. It is also becoming apparent that the diversity of the Chytrids as a whole, and in particular of Bd, has not previously been appreciated. It is possible that there are many amphibian-associated Chytrids we are currently unaware of which may affect BdGPL’s ability to infect an individual.

This report that Malagasy amphibians are now known to be infected with Bd will rightly sound loud and clear warning bells for amphibian conservation, and could be harbinger for yet another blow to the already challenged amphibians in Madagascar. However, the lack of clinical signs of chytridiomycosis and the low levels of infection intensity also indicate that Madagascar could yield exciting new information about Bd infection dynamics which not only could mean that the amphibians of Madagascar are less likely to experience the same fate as those in the Neotropics and other areas of Bd-associated declines, but could yield more information to aid our understanding and mitigation of Chytridiomycosis and Bd in other naïve and threatened populations.


French Guiana 2015: As well as the frogs…

Meeting the locals on a night out

Meeting the locals on a night out

Quick introductions first – I’m Pria, a Research Assistant on the Emperor’s New Clothes Leverhulme Project. The field trip to French Guiana was my first foray into primary tropical rainforest, and an incredible one too. It was an extraordinary place, where everything was much more intense and on a grander scale than any environment I have encountered before – the rain, the heat, the size of the trees, the sheer volume of life and activity going on at the tiny scale of fungi, bacteria insects and of course, frogs. The tranquillity of patches like the slow running rivers and at the top of the Inselberg was breathtaking.

IMG_6300The first huge excitement for me was getting to go in a helicopter for the first time – made all the more exciting by flying really low over the trees and rivers, and the pilot turning the helicopter on it’s side to turn around the meanders of the river!Untitled design (1)

As a biologist it doesn’t get much better than being let loose in a primary tropical rainforest, and it was a real privilege to be able to see for myself some of the truly stunning and fascinating rainforest creatures and plants (not just the frogs!). Seeing a wild Morpho butterfly for the first time, darting over a rainforest stream, was a definite highlight even though it moved too quickly to take a photo! I’m still not sure what a lot of the animals, plants and fungi I’ve photographed are, so if anyone does know, please share their names with me! On our way up to the top of the Inselberg we were lucky enough to catch sight of Coq of the Rock (photos to follow). This is a shy, beautiful bird that is really hard to catch sight of, despite it’s bright orange plumage. At Nourages, however, there is a known Lek area where the birds were gathered. Walking back to camp after sampling in the evening always resulted in us spotting some brilliant, if occasionally slightly unnerving, rainforest inhabitants. Snakes and tarantulas were about, and the howler monkeys, which sound really otherworldly and are incredibly loud, would break out into singing day or night.

Some bonus fauna and flora 1) Cordyceps fungus growing from a moth 2) Fer de Lance snake 3) D. tinctorius with 3 tadpoles 4) Leaf cutter ant trail

Some bonus fauna and flora 1) Cordyceps fungus growing from a moth 2) Fer de Lance snake 3) D. tinctorius with 3 tadpoles 4) Leaf cutter ant trail

Being immersed in such an amazing environment was fantastic – but it came with challenges I wasn’t necessarily expecting. I think the most alarming noise in the forest was what sounded like a huge roll of thunder but was in fact a large tree coming crashing down somewhere, sometimes a little too closely for comfort! The rain had to be seen to be believed. After the first few drops begin to fall you have about 20 seconds to run to get your waterproof before it’s like a bucket is poured over you, for up to several hours. This means that between the rain, sweat and humidity it’s almost impossible to keep yourself and your kit totally dry – most of my stuff had a gentle scattering of mould by the end of the first week! With so much flora and fauna around scratches and bites were inevitable, but I also managed to acquire a mysterious jungle rash covering all my arms which has taken two weeks after leaving camp and some serious steroid cream to beat. I think it bought a bit of interest to my South London GP’s morning – by the time I left 3 doctors had been called in to have a look!

I’ve been pondering on what are the biggest things my first tropical field trip has taught me, and these are my top 5:

1) It may sound silly, but an umbrella is a wonderful thing and useful kit when you need to write in the field in the rain

2) Watch where you sit, you never know what your bum may meet (in my case, a wasps’ nest!)

3) Take photos of EVERYTHING, you’ll regret it when you’re back if you don’t

4) Make sure your bag is waterproof before you get on the plane

5) You can never have too many plastic bags

Nothing beats an umbrella

Nothing beats an umbrella

My mouldy leather purse

My mouldy leather purse

Pretty gross looking mysterious rainforest skin

Pretty gross looking mysterious rainforest skin

Since getting back I’ve been working on trying to get Bd out of the toe clips and tadpole mouthparts we bought back – the odds are low but a couple of samples are looking promising, now for the delicate job of keeping any Bd in there alive and happy.