DAO 100:263-267 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02480

NOTE
Interspecific transmission and recovery of TCBS-induced disease between Acanthaster planci and Linckia guildingi

C. F. Caballes1, P. J. Schupp1,3, M. S. Pratchett2, J. A. Rivera-Posada2,4,*

1University of Guam−Marine Laboratory, UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam, USA
2ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia
3Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg−Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany
4Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3, Townsville, Queensland 4810, Australia
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: The susceptibility of the coral-feeding crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci to disease may provide an avenue with which to effectively control population outbreaks that have caused severe and widespread coral loss in the Indo-Pacific. Injecting thiosulfate-citrate-bile-sucrose (TCBS) agar into A. planci tissues induced a disease characterized by dermal lesions, loss of skin turgor, collapsed spines, and accumulation of mucus on spine tips. Moreover, the symptoms (and presumably the agent) of this disease would spread rapidly intraspecifically, but interspecific transmission (to other species of echinoderms) is yet to be examined. Vibrio rotiferianus, which was previously reported as a pathogen isolated from lesions of experimentally infected A. planci, was also recovered from Linckia guildingi lesions after several days of direct contact with diseased A. planci, demonstrating disease transmission. However, all L. guildingi fully recovered after 31 ± 16 d. Further studies are in progress to understand the ecology of Vibrio infection in A. planci and the potential transmission risk to corals, fishes, and other echinoderms to evaluate whether injections of TCBS could be a viable tool for controlling A. planci outbreaks.


KEY WORDS: Acanthaster planci · Disease transmission · Vibrio rotiferianus · Harveyi group · Linckia guildingi · Crown-of-thorns starfish


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Cite this article as: Caballes CF, Schupp PJ, Pratchett MS, Rivera-Posada JA (2012) Interspecific transmission and recovery of TCBS-induced disease between Acanthaster planci and Linckia guildingi. Dis Aquat Org 100:263-267. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02480

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