A series of recent papers have implicated pathogens and parasites in amphibian population declines. Here, we review evidence on the link between infectious disease and amphibian population declines. We conclude that available data provide the clearest link for the fungal disease amphibian chytridiomycosis, although other pathogens are also implicated. We suggest additional experimental and observational data that need to be collected to provide further support that these other pathogens are associated with declines. We suggest that, in common with many emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) of humans, domestic animals and other wildlife species, emergence of chytridiomycosis may be driven by anthropogenic introduction (pathogen pollution). Finally, we review a number of recent advances in the host-parasite ecology of chytridiomycosis that help explain its emergence and impact.