Global Ranavirus Consortium


Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Nov 18, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Kingman, Arizona
For links that don't connect, send me your email and I'll forward article to you.

Global Ranavirus Consortium
The scientific community is increasingly aware that emerging infectious diseases pose a significant threat to global biodiversity. A group of viruses in the genus Ranavirus (Family Iridoviridae) cause disease in amphibians, reptiles and fish, and appear to be emerging in some populations. Ranavirus-associated die-offs in larval and adult amphibians have been documented in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, with death rates often exceeding 90% during an outbreak. Ranavirus infections also have been reported in wild and cultured fish populations worldwide. While research on reptiles has been slower to accumulate, recent evidence suggests that ranaviruses are capable of causing morbidity and mortality in free-ranging populations. The capability of ranaviruses causing disease in poikilothermic animals belonging to three vertebrate classes emphasizes the potential risk of these pathogens to global biodiversity.
The Global Ranavirus Consortium (GRC) was formed following the First International Symposium on Ranaviruses. The goal of the GRC is to facilitate communication and collaboration among scientists and veterinarians conducting research on ranaviruses and diagnosing cases of ranaviral disease. Since formation, the GRC has published 3 popular articles on the 2011 Symposium and organized the Second International Symposium on Ranaviruses, which was held 27 – 29 July 2013 concurrently with the International Conference of the Wildlife Disease Association in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. The Third International Symposium on Ranaviruses will be held 30 May - 1 June 2015 at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, USA. The GRC recently hosted a workshop on ranaviruses in Harbin, China.
The GRC was recently approved to write the first book on ranaviruses, which will be published as an eBook (i.e., chapters can be purchased independently) by Springer. Target publication date is November 2014. The GRC formed global regional discussion groups (see regional contact below) to help facilitate the transfer of information among scientists, and created a website with recent publications. To improve understanding of the global distribution of ranaviruses, the GRC is working to secure funds to create a Global Ranavirus Reporting System. The Executive Board has finalized bylaws for the GRC, and will be offering membership options in 2014.
If you would like to be listed as a GRC scientist or contribute to activities, please contact Dr. Matthew Gray or your regional representative on the Executive Board (see below). We also encourage interested students and scientists to join the GRC LISTSERV (see below).

Executive Board

1. Matthew Gray, Ph.D.

Director, University of Tennessee

2. Jesse Brunner, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Washington State University

3. Amanda Duffus, Ph.D.

Secretary/Treasurer, Gordon College

4. Yumi Une, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Asia Representative, Azabu University

5. Ellen Ariel, Ph.D.

Australia Representative, James Cook University

6. Rachel Marschang, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Europe Representative, Universität Hohenheim

7. Thomas Waltzek, D.V.M., Ph.D.

North America Representative, University of Florida

8. Rolando Mazzoni, D.V.M., Ph.D.

South America Representative, Universidade Federal de Goiás

9. Greg Chinchar, Ph.D.

Honorary Advisor, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Minutes: July 2013

Participating Scientists

1. Matthew C. Allender, D.V.M., Ph.D.

University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine

Department of Comparative Biosciences

[email protected]; 217-265-0320

Expertise: Ranavirus pathology in chelonians (USA)

2. Ellen Ariel, Ph.D.

James Cook University

School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

[email protected]; +61 747 81 4123

Expertise: Ranaviruses in fish and chelonians (EU and Australia)

3. Ana Balseiro, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Servicio Regional de Investigación y Desarrollo Agroalimentario

Centro de Biotecnología Animal

[email protected]; 00 34 984 50 20 10

Expertise: Ranavirus pathology in amphibians (EU: Spain)

4. Britt Bang Jensen, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Norwegian Veterinary Institute

Section for Epidemiology

[email protected]; +47 23216360

Expertise: Epidemiology of ranaviruses, especially fish (EU)

5. Silvia Blahak, D.V.M.

Chemical and Veterinary Investigational Laboratory (CVUA-OWL)

[email protected]; 0049 5231 911640

Expertise: Ranaviruses in reptiles (EU: Germany)

6. Craig Brunetti, Ph.D.

Trent University

Department of Biology

[email protected]; 705-748-1011

Expertise: Genetics and Bioinformatics of Ranaviruses (Canada)

7. Jesse L. Brunner, Ph.D.

Washington State University

School of Biological Sciences

[email protected]; 509-335-3702

Expertise: Ecology of Ranaviruses (USA)

Past research:

(1) Ecology of ATV in isolated tiger salamander populations in Arizona: transmission, persistence, and virulence.

(2) Ranavirus epidemiology in the Northeast USA.

(3) The effects of natural challenges and stress on susceptibility to ranavirus infection.

Current research:

(1) Larval behaviors, contact rates, and the form and function of ranavirus transmission.

(2) Ranavirus persistence in and transmission from the environment.

(3) Sketching out the phylogeography of FV3-like ranaviruses.

(4) Establishing the potential host range of various ranavirus isolates.

8. V. Gregory Chinchar, Ph.D.

University of Mississippi Medical Center

Department of Microbiology

[email protected]; 601-984-1743

Expertise: Gene Function of Ranaviruses (USA)

9. Andrew A. Cunningham, Ph.D., BVMS

Zoological Society of London

Institute of Zoology

[email protected]; 020 7449 6674

Expertise: Epidemiology of ranaviruses (England)

10. Amanda L. J. Duffus, Ph.D.

Gordon College

Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

[email protected]; 678-359-5464
Expertise: Ecology of Ranaviruses (England, Canada, and USA)

Past research:

(1) Ranavirus-host associations in UK amphibians.

(2) Life history stages of the common frog (Rana temporaria) affected by ranavirus infections.

(3) Modeling ranavirus dynamics and persistence in a single host species, the common frog.

(4) Phylogenetics of UK ranavirus isolates.

(5) Community ecology of ranavirus infections in pond dwelling amphibians, in Ontario, Canada.

(6) Effects of immunosuppressant agents on the development of ranavirus infections.

Current research:

(1) Mathematical modeling of ranavirus-amphibian systems.

11. Trent Garner, Ph.D.

Zoological Society of London

Institute of Zoology

[email protected]; 0041 (0) 207 4496687

Expertise: Population genetics and epidemiology of ranaviruses (England)

12. Matthew J. Gray, Ph.D.

University of Tennessee, Center for Wildlife Health

[email protected]; 865-974-2740

Expertise: Ecology of ranaviruses (USA)

Past research:

(1) Ranavirus surveillance in Tennessee amphibian communities.

(2) Impacts of anuran development and the threat of predation on susceptibility to ranavirus.

(3) Estimating the relative susceptibility of North American amphibians to ranaviruses.

(4) Determining the effects of amphibian community composition of ranavirus emergence.

(5) Exploring the possibility of interclass transmission of ranaviruses among amphibians, reptiles and fish.

Current research:

(1) Is evolution of host immunity and virus pathogenicity related to geographic isolation?

(2) Determining the occurrence of ranavirus superspreading by an amphibian host: a test of the 20-80 rule (Lloyd-Smith et al. 2005)

(3) Can ranaviruses cause population extirpation and species extinction: case studies with the Mississippi gopher frog, Chiricahua leopard frog and wood frog

(4) Temperature effects on ranavirus-host interactions: a test of viral replication versus temperature-induced stress

13. D. Earl Green, D.V.M.

U.S. Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center

[email protected]; 608-270-2482

Expertise: Pathology of ranaviruses (USA)

14. Jason T. Hoverman, Ph.D.

Purdue University

Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

[email protected]; 765-496-3263

Expertise: Ecology of ranaviruses (USA)

15. Alex D. Hyatt, Ph.D.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Australian Animal Health Laboratory

[email protected]; +61 3 52275419

Expertise: Phylogenetics and ecology of ranaviruses (Australia)

16. James K. Jancovich, Ph.D.

California State University-San Marcos

Department of Biological Sciences

[email protected]; 760-750-8525

Expertise: Phylogenetics and evolution of ranaviruses (USA)

17. April Johnson, D.V.M., M.P.H., Ph.D

[email protected]; +994 50 281 6390

Expertise: Ranaviruses in chelonians

18. Somkiat Kanchanakhan, Ph.D.

Inland Fishery and Research Development Bureau, Thailand

Inland Aquatic Animal Health Research Institute

[email protected]; 662 579 4122

Expertise: Ranaviruses in fish and amphibians; OIE Expert (Southeast Asia)

19. Jacob Kerby, Ph.D.

University of South Dakota

Biology Department

[email protected]; 605-677-6170

Expertise: Ranaviruses and Stressors (USA)

20. Marja J. L. Kik, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Utrecht University and Dutch Wildlife Health Centre

Veterinary Medicine

[email protected]; 0031 030-2537925

Expertise: Ranavirus pathology (EU: Netherlands)

21. David Lesbarrères, Ph.D.

Laurentian University

Department of Biology

[email protected]; +1 (705) 675-1151 ext. 2275

Expertise: Ecology of Ranaviruses (Canada)

22. Rachel E. Marschang, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Laboklin GmbH & Co KG

Steubenstr. 4
D-97688 Bad Kissingen
[email protected]; +4997172020

Expertise: Ranaviruses in Reptiles (EU: Germany)

23. Rolando Mazzoni, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Universidade Federal de Goiás

Laboratório de Diagnóstico de Doenças de Organismos Aquáticos

[email protected]; 00 55 623 521 1576

Expertise: Ranavirus pathology and ranaviruses in bullfrog farms (South America)

24. Debra L. Miller, D.V.M., Ph.D.

University of Tennessee, Center for Wildlife Health

College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Pathobiology

[email protected]; 865-974-7948

Expertise: Pathology of ranaviruses in ectothermic vertebrates (USA)

25. Nick Moody, Ph.D.

CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences

AAHL Fish Diseases Laboratory

[email protected]; +61 3 5227 5749

Expertise: Ranaviruses in Fish (Australia)

26. Angela M. Picco, Ph.D.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

[email protected]; 916-414-6490

Expertise: Pathogen pollution and amphibian trade (USA)

27. Jolianne Rijks, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Dutch Wildlife Health Centre

[email protected]; 0031 030-2534366

Expertise: Ranavirus epidemiology (EU: Netherlands)

28. Jacques Robert, Ph.D.

University of Rochester Medical Center

Department of Microbiology and Immunology

[email protected]; 585-275-1722

Expertise: Immunological responses to ranavirus infection (USA)

29. Danna M. Schock, Ph.D.

Keyano College

[email protected]; 780-791-4816

Expertise: Ecology of Ranavirus (Canada and USA)

30. Annemarieke Spitzen, M.S.

RAVON (Reptile, Amphibian and Fish Conservation Netherlands)

Department of Science and Conservation

[email protected]; 0031 24 7410600

Expertise: Amphibian host range of ranaviruses (EU: Netherlands)

31. Andrew Storfer, Ph.D.

Washington State University

School of Biological Sciences

[email protected]; 509-335-7922

Expertise: Evolution of Ranaviruses (USA)

32. Yumi Une, D.V.M.

Azabu University, School of Veterinary Medicine

Laboratory of Veterinary Pathology

[email protected]; +81-42-769-1628

Expertise: Pathology of Ranaviruses (Japan)

33. Thomas B. Waltzek, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Univerisity of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine

Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology

[email protected]; 530-574-2976

Expertise: Phylogenetics of iridoviruses (USA)

34. Richard J. Whittington, Ph.D.

University of Sydney, Faculty of Veterinary Science

[email protected]; +61-2-9351-1619

Expertise: Epidemiology, pathology, and immunology of ranaviruses (Australia)

Past research:

(1) Ranavirus surveillance in Australia.

(2) Host susceptibility to ranaviruses.

(3) Immunology.

Current research:

(1) Serology as a surveillance tool.

(2) Comparative pathology of iridoviruses

(3) Improved diagnostics for ranaviruses


(1) OIE Reference Laboratory for EHNV and Ranavirus

35. Qi-Ya Zhang, Ph.D.

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Institute of Hydrobiology

[email protected]; 86-27-68780792

Expertise: Genome structure and functional proteins of ranavirus (China)


To post to the GRC listserv, send an email to [email protected]. Appropriate content for posting includes (but is not limited to) sharing information on recent ranavirus die-offs, research findings, or publications; asking questions or discussing topics related to ranaviruses or ranaviral disease; and providing information about GRC activities. Anyone can post to the listserv (including non-members) and all postings are archived and can be viewed by the public. If you would like to become a member of the GRC listserv, you can join at this website:

To unsubscribe, send "SIGNOFF GRC" command to [email protected] or contact Matthew Gray ([email protected]).

Other Resources

Global Ranavirus Reporting System

Laboratories Testing for Ranavirus

2013 Ranavirus Symposium

Important Research Directions

New Publications!!

UT Center for Wildlife Health


Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Nov 18, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Kingman, Arizona
Amphibian communities collapse in wake of viral outbreak
DATE: October 16, 2014, Cell Press

Two closely related viruses that have been introduced to northern Spain in recent years have already led to the collapse of three different species of amphibian -- the common midwife toad, the common toad, and the alpine newt -- in the protected area of Picos de Europa (literally "Peaks of Europe") National Park. In all, six amphibian species have suffered from severe disease and mass mortality as a result of the outbreak, and researchers who report their findings in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on October 16 say that the viruses appear to be on the move.

Preliminary evidence shows that related ranaviruses are emerging in other parts of Europe, which surely means more bad news for amphibians ahead.

"The capacity of these viruses to infect multiple species means that there is the possibility that some host populations may be extirpated due to infection," says Stephen Price, now of UCL. "Pathogens that can exploit more than one host simultaneously are able to persist even when one host drops to low numbers, and eventually zero, because there is another susceptible host available."

In one instance observed by the researchers, a snake even became sick and died after feeding on an infected amphibian. The viruses in question belong to the family Iridoviridae. They have been known to cause disease in fish and reptiles but have also been noted for their ability to sicken and kill amphibians in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The new study is the first to document the deadly infection striking multiple amphibian species at once with such serious impact.

Price's coauthor Amparo Mora-Cabello de Alba, a biologist in the national park, and her colleagues grew alarmed after witnessing the first mass mortality events in 2005. The illness produces systemic hemorrhaging, open sores, and the death of limb tissues. Park staff contacted Jaime Bosch of Madrid's Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, an expert in frogs and toads, and together the team began careful monitoring of the park's amphibians.

Worryingly, the species declines observed in the park have shown no sign of rebound, and, in some locations, species have been all but lost. "Our work reveals a group of pathogens that seem to have preexisting capacity to infect and evade immunity in multiple diverse and novel hosts, and that are exerting massive impacts on host communities," the researchers write.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

Stephen J. Price, Trenton W.J. Garner, Richard A. Nichols, François Balloux, César Ayres, Amparo Mora-Cabello de Alba, Jaime Bosch. Collapse of Amphibian Communities Due to an Introduced Ranavirus. Current Biology, 2014;

New Posts