How do I test for Chytrid and Ranavirus?

Testing for Chytrid or Ranavirus is relatively simple, and requires taking samples via skin swabs, then sending them to a laboratory for a PCR analysis to see if any sign of Chytrid is present in the swab. In this example, we'll be using Josh's Frogs Amphibian Chytrid and Ranavirus Testing Kit.


First, you will want to restrain the amphibian. While wearing gloves (if using nitrile or latex gloves, rinse them well with water first), gently hold the frog in your hands, with it's extended back legs carefully held down by your thumb, with it's belly up.



With your free hand, use a sterile cotton swab and rub the tip along the side of the frog between the front and back leg, from back to front. Do this 5 times.



Rub the swab on the frog's belly 5 times, from back to front.



Repeat on the frog's other side, then gently release the frog back into it's habitat.



Being careful not to touch anything with the swab, place it in a ziploc bag, then seal it.



Label the bag with a description of the animal tested, what test you'd like to have run on the swab, and your name.



Place the bag in a cardboard envelope to prevent the sample from being destroyed in transit. Include any necessary forms needed by the lab running your tests for you. We strongly recommend RAL (Research Associates Laboratory) for Chytrid and Ranavirus testing.



Generally, you'll receive your results within 3-4 business days.




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