DAO 110:81-91 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02646

Contribution to the DAO Special: 'Microcell parasites of molluscs'

Species-specific oligonucleotide probe for detection of Bonamia exitiosa (Haplosporidia) using in situ hybridisation assay

Andrea Ramilo1, Antonio Villalba1,*, Elvira Abollo

1Centro de Investigacións Mariñas, Consellería do Medio Rural e do Mar, Xunta de Galicia, 36620 Vilanova de Arousa, Spain
2Centro Tecnológico del Mar – Fundación CETMAR, 36208 Vigo, Spain
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Bonamiosis is a disease affecting various oyster species and causing oyster mass mortalities worldwide. The protozoans Bonamia exitiosa and B. ostreae (Haplosporidia) are included in the list of notifiable diseases of the World Organisation for Animal Health as the causative agents of this disease. Although the geographic range of both species was considered different for years, both species are now known to co-occur in some European areas affecting the same host, Ostrea edulis, which strengthens the need of species-specific methods to unequivocally identify the species of Bonamia. An oligonucleotide probe for specific detection of B. exitiosa (BEX_ITS) was designed to be used in in situ hybridisation (ISH) assays. ISH assay with BEX_ITS probe showed species-specificity and more sensitivity than traditional histology to visualise the parasite inside host tissue. ISH assay showed that the oyster gonad was the area where the parasite was most frequently located, and was the exclusive organ of infection in some oysters. A recommendation arising from the study is that more than 1 organ (including gonad and gills) should be used for PCR-based diagnosis of B. exitiosa, to maximise the sensitivity.


KEY WORDS: Bonamiosis · Ostrea edulis · Diagnostic assay · Specificity · Diagnosis


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Cite this article as: Ramilo A, Villalba A, Abollo E (2014) Species-specific oligonucleotide probe for detection of Bonamia exitiosa (Haplosporidia) using in situ hybridisation assay. Dis Aquat Org 110:81-91. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02646

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