First line of defence: skin microbiota may protect anurans from infective larval lungworms

Keith Christian, Richard Shine, Kimberley A. Day, Mirjam Kaestli, Karen Gibb, Catherine M. Shilton, Gregory P. Brown

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)
    9 Downloads (Pure)


    Functional roles of the rich microbiota of the skin are not fully understood, but include protection against microbial diseases and other environmental challenges. In experimental studies, we show that reducing the microbiota from cane toad (Rhinella marina) skin by gently wiping with absorptive gauze resulted in threefold higher rates of infection by lungworms (Rhabdias pseudosphaerocephala) following standardised exposure to infective skin-penetrating larvae. Higher concentrations of microbial DNA were associated with lower rates of lungworm entry. Our data suggest that microbial activity on the anuran skin comprises an important line of defence against attack by macroparasites as well as by fungi and other microbes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)185-189
    Number of pages5
    JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • Host-parasite
    • Microbiota
    • Pathogen
    • Rhabdias pseudosphaerocephala
    • Rhinella marina


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