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Researchers Discover a Deadly Fungus

Update Date: Oct 31, 2014 02:40 PM EDT

Researchers have discovered a deadly fungus that could be a new threat to the world's salamanders and newts across Europe, according to a new study. 

The fungus is believed to have arrived on pet amphibians imported from Asia. The study suggested that fungus coexisted Asian salamanders for 30 million years.

 According to the new study, the recently discovered "B. sal" does not affect frogs or toads but kills a wide variety of salamanders, BBC reported. 

The fungus rapidly invades and eats an animal's skin, which is crucial to its survival because it helps it to breathe. 

"If this disease is allowed to spread here in the United States, our salamanders will die off in mass numbers," said Collette Adkins Giese, a Center for Biological Diversity attorney and biologist who works to save endangered reptiles and amphibians, according to eNews Park Forest. "Chytrid fungus, along with the white-nose syndrome that's wiping out millions of our bats, has shown the devastating impacts of wildlife diseases. We need to do everything in our power to protect our nation's amphibians and prevent the spread of this disease."

Researchers added that although the fungus is yet to be found in the wild outside Belgium and the Netherlands, it is likely to spread further. 

The study has been published in the journal Science

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