Another mile stone in CRID’s history of capacity building as the organisation graduates another Ph.D student in to a Doctor of Animal Biology, more specifically Parasitology.
Dr. NGUIFFO NGUETE Daniel defended his Ph.D on August 3, 2020 at the University of Dschang, West Region of Cameroon on the topic “Genetic variation and parasitism due to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Icosiella sp in goliath frog (Conraua goliath) from Moungo and Nkam Administrative Divisions of Littoral-Cameroon: consequence for the conservation“
The five (05) years study was carried out in six (06) rivers including Bantoum, Nkebe, Bipelhe, Mbete Gounja and Mpoula in Littoral Region of Cameroon. The purpose of his research work is to contribute to the conservation of goliath frog. In fact, the goliath frog is the largest frog in the world (over 3.5 kg) that is only found in parts of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. The size of their wild population has sharply declined due to over-exploitation and destruction of their habitat.
Just like every success comes with challenges, Dr. Nguiffo’s research years didn’t come with a smooth ride.
“One of the challenges we faced in this work was the scarcity of frogs, capturing them at night (22pm to 04 am) mainly during the rainy season due to the high flow of water from the river. Also the search for Batrachochitrium dendrobatidis fungi responsible for the decline of amphibians because at the beginning of the first 50 samples collected, we did not find this fungus” says Dr. Nguiffo
To over this challenge, the young Doctor revealed that, his team had to spend more hours (extra hours) in the field to capture more frogs while avoiding to work when it had rained.
“For the research of Batrachochitrium dendrobatidis, following the difficulty to grow these fungi, we identified it in this frog thanks to the qPCR” He adds
At the end of this work, Dr. Nguiffo and team recommend to Cameroon’s Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) to adopt a better management and conservation plan of the goliath frog, to increase its genetic diversity by introducing frogs from genetically diverse populations. In addition, an epidemiological surveillance programme should be put in place to control infections of goliath frogs caused by chytrid fungi and haemoparasites.
Results obtained from this research demonstrate the low level of genetic diversity, strong population structure of goliath frogs amongst Nkam and Mungo populations and the influence of parasites on the physiology of this host.