A fungus that infects frog skin is threatening amphibian populations across the globe -- and the most widely used treatment is costly and potentially lethal as well. But, according to a new study, amphibian experts believe they've found a less expensive drug for the disease.
Called amphotericin B, the new drug is less toxic, and -- unlike the previously-used treatment -- doesn't require the frogs to be immersed in medication for 10 days. Amphotericin combats the fungal disease chytridiomycosis, an infection that threatens roughly 90 species of frogs with extinction and contributed to the disappearance of the Monte Verde toad.
Due to the disease, "some species, such as the Panamanian Golden Frog, are nearly extinct in nature, and doing well only in zoos," states Louise Rollins-Smith, an amphibian expert at Vanderbilt University. Using the new drug, she says, could be a more benign cure.