A fungus called Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has pushed at least 501

amphibians against extinction.

[Photo:ABDESIGNGettyImages/iStockphoto)

A rapidly spreading fungus threatens frogs everywhere and causes mass-absorbing amphibians, according to a new study.

The survey was released Friday Friday in the peer science, calling the loss of chytridiomycosis "catastrophic", saying that the disease has "caused death and extinction of species on a global scale." At least 501 amphibians have died over the last 50 years, including 90, believed to be extinct, the study said.

Chytridiomycosis is caused by two fungal species likely to originate from Asia, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (discovered in 1998) and B. salamandrivorans (discovered in 2013). Once the contract is concluded, the disease can eat away on the skin. It has been known to kill frogs for decades now, but recently the spread has caused global alarm.

Study authors say the outbreak is contributing to "Earth's sixth mass extinction". Deaths have been most extreme in wet climates in America and Australia, peaking in the 1980s. Only 12 percent of rejected species show signs of recovery, the study notes that 39 percent continue to decline. More: More than 40 percent of insect species declining could have disastrous & # 39; results, the study said

Wendy Palen, a biologist at Simon Fraser University, who is a co-author of a commentary accompanied by the study, called the fungus associated with the disease "the most lethal pathogen known to science," The New York Times reports .

Researchers call for new research and surveillance to stop the spread of pathogens and save species.

Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets

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