Ranavirus is a virus within the Iridoviridae family of viruses.
Commonly Affected Species:
Signs Of Disease
Ranavirus is usually found due discovery of a high mortality event in amphibians. Mortality events due to ranaviruses occur most commonly in larval amphibians such as mole salamanders (Ambystoma spp.), true frogs (Lithobates spp. and Rana spp.) and chorus frogs (Pseudacris spp.). Overall mortality rates in juvenile frogs and salamanders in a wetland can exceed 90%. Affected individuals usually present with subtle to severe hemorrhages in the ventral (belly) skin, especially at the base of the hind limbs and around the vent opening. Other clinical signs include lethargy, swimming erratically, weakly, or on their sides, and mild to severe fluid accumulation under the skin in the lymphatic sacs of the abdomen and proximal hind limbs. Internally, there may be fluid accumulation in the body cavity and hemorrhages on the surfaces the heart, stomach and liver. Occasionally, white, pinpoint areas of dead tissue are evident in the liver or spleen. Ulcers of the skin and palate tend to be randomly scattered.
Where is Disease Found?
Ranavirus is found in most parts of North America. It has not been detected in Idaho.
How Can I Protect Myself?
Ranavirus poses no known concern for human health. Wear personal protection equipment when handling amphibians. Sterilize equipment and boots between bodies of water.
Samples to Collect
Collect whole carcasses or tissue samples and keep them cold or refrigerated until the samples can be delivered to a conservation officer or Idaho Department of Fish and Game Regional Office.
Can I Eat The Meat?
Animals that die of ranavirus should not be consumed by humans.
What is IDFG doing to help manage this disease?:
Ranavirus has not been detected in Idaho, but Idaho Fish and Game is conducting surveillance in amphibian populations.