Antimicrobial peptide defenses in the salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum, against emerging amphibian pathogens.


Skin peptides were collected from living Ambystoma tigrinum larvae and adults and tested against two emerging pathogens, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and the Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV), as well as bacteria isolated from A. tigrinum. Natural mixtures of skin peptides were found to inhibit growth of B. dendrobatidis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Klebsiella sp., but activity against ATV was unpredictable. Skin peptides collected from salamanders held at three environmentally relevant temperatures differed in activity against B. dendrobatidis. Activity of the A. tigrinum skin peptides was found to be strongly influenced by pH.