DAO 67:217-224 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/dao067217

Effects of triclosan on growth, viability and fatty acid synthesis of the oyster protozoanparasite Perkinsus marinus

Eric D. Lund1, Philippe Soudant2, Fu-Lin E. Chu1,*, Ellen Harvey1,Stephanie Bolton3, Adolph Flowers4

1Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Gloucester Point, Virginia 23062, USA
2Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer LEMAR–Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Environnement Marin (UMR 6539), Technopole Brest Iroise, Place Nicolas Copernic, 29280 Plouzané, France
3Wake Forest University, 1834 Wake Forest Road, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27106, USA
4Morehouse College, 830 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30314, USA
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Perkinsus marinus, a protozoan parasite of the Eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica, has severely impacted oyster populations from the Mid-Atlantic region to the Gulf of Mexico coast of North America for more than 30 yr. Although a chemotherapeutic treatment to reduce or eliminate P. marinus from infected oysters would be useful for research and hatchery operations, an effective and practical drug treatment does not currently exist. In this study, the antimicrobial drug triclosan5-chloro-2-(2,4 dichlorophenoxy) phenol, a specific inhibitor of Fab1 (enoyl-acyl-carrier-protein reductase), an enzyme in the Type II class of fatty acid synthetases, was tested for its effects on viability, proliferation and fatty acid synthesis of in vitro-cultured P. marinus meronts. Treatment of P. marinus meront cell cultures with concentrations of ≥2 µM triclosan at 28°C (a temperature favorable for parasite proliferation) for up to 6 d stopped proliferation of the parasite. Treatment at ≥5 µM at 28°C greatly reduced the viability and fatty acid synthesis of meront cells. Oyster hemocytes treated with ≥20 µM triclosan exhibited no significant (p < 0.05) reduction in viability relative to controls for up to 24 h at 13°C. P. marinus meronts exposed to ≥2 µM triclosan for 24 h at 13°C exhibited significantly (p < 0.05) lower viability relative to controls. Exposure of P. marinus meronts to triclosan concentrations of ≥20 µM resulted in >50% mortality of P. marinus cells after 24 h. These results suggest that triclosan may be effective in treating P. marinus-infected oysters.


KEY WORDS: Triclosan · Dermo disease · Perkinsus marinus · Eastern oyster · Fatty acid synthesis


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