Detection and reporting of ranavirus in amphibians: Evaluation of the roles of the world organisation for animal health and the published literature

Yvonne Black, Anna Meredith, Stephen J. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pathogens of wildlife can have direct impacts on human and livestock health. They also impact on biodiversity, as causative factors in population declines and extinctions. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) seeks to facilitate rapid sharing of information about animal diseases to enable up-to-date risk assessments of translocations of animals and animal products. The OIE also produces manuals of recommended methods to standardise diagnostic testing. Ranaviruses are important amphibian pathogens that may have spread through international trade, and infections became notifiable to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in 2009. We carried out surveys and reviewed published literature to gather data on sampling, diagnostic testing and reporting of Ranavirus during the period 2009-2014. We also investigated attitudes and awareness of the OIE and its recommendations for best practice. We found that sampling effort is uneven, and concentrated in the northern hemisphere. We also identified activities carried out by citizen science projects which have the potential to improve the quantity and quality of data available concerning the incidence of Ranavirus infection and the circumstances surrounding disease outbreaks. We found reporting of infection to be inconsistent: reporting was split between the published literature (where it was subject to a two-year lag) and the OIE with little overlap, results of negative diagnostic tests were under-reported, and scientific researchers lacked awareness of the role of the OIE. Approaches to diagnostic screening were poorly harmonized, and often heavily reliant on molecular methods. These flaws in the mechanisms of Ranavirus detection and reporting hamper the construction of a comprehensive disease information database.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-520
JournalJournal of Wildlife Diseases
Issue number3
Early online date12 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


  • molecular diagnostics
  • Ranavirus
  • wildlife disease surveillance
  • World Organization for Animal Health
  • OIE


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