The pathogen of frogs Amphibiocystidium ranae is a member of the order dermocystida in the class mesomycetozoea

J Clin Microbiol. 2005 Jan;43(1):192-8. doi: 10.1128/JCM.43.1.192-198.2005.


The pathogen of frogs Amphibiocystidium ranae was recently described as a new genus. Due to its spherical shape, containing hundred of endospores, it was thought to be closely related to the pathogens of fish, mammals, and birds known as Dermocystidium spp., Rhinosporidium seeberi, and Sphaerothecum destruens in the Mesomycetozoea, but further studies were not conducted to confirm this relationship. To investigate its phylogenetic affinities, total genomic DNA was extracted from samples collected from infected frogs containing multiple cysts (sporangia) and endospores. The universal primers NS1 and NS8, used to amplify the 18S small-subunit rRNA by PCR, yielded approximately 1,770-bp amplicons. Sequencing and basic local alignment search tool analyses indicated that the 18S small-subunit rRNA of A. ranae from both Rana esculenta and Rana lessonae was closely related to all of the above organisms. Our phylogenetic analysis placed this pathogen of frogs as the sister group to the genus Dermocystidium and closely related to Rhinosporidium. These data strongly supported the placement of the genus Amphibiocystidium within the mesomycetozoeans, which is in agreement with the phenotypic features that A. ranae shares with the other members of this class. Interestingly, during this study Dermocystidium percae did not group within the Dermocystidium spp. from fish; rather, it was found to be the sister group to Sphaerothecum destruens. This finding suggests that D. percae could well be a member of the genus Sphaerothecum or perhaps represents a new genus.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA, Ribosomal / analysis
  • Eukaryota / classification*
  • Eukaryota / growth & development
  • Eukaryota / isolation & purification
  • Eukaryota / ultrastructure
  • Fungi / classification*
  • Fungi / growth & development
  • Fungi / isolation & purification
  • Fungi / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mycoses / microbiology
  • Mycoses / pathology
  • Mycoses / veterinary
  • Phylogeny
  • Protozoan Infections, Animal / parasitology
  • Protozoan Infections, Animal / pathology
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 18S / genetics
  • Rana esculenta* / microbiology
  • Rana esculenta* / parasitology
  • Ranidae* / microbiology
  • Ranidae* / parasitology
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Skin / parasitology
  • Skin / pathology


  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 18S

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY550245
  • GENBANK/AY692319