DAO 79:237-247 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao01910

Factors associated with the prevalence of Perkinsus marinus in Crassostrea virginica from the southern Gulf of Mexico

M. Gullian-Klanian*, J. A. Herrera-Silveira, R. Rodríguez-Canul, L. Aguirre-Macedo

Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV-IPN) Unidad Mérida, Carretera Antigua a Progreso Km 6, CP 97310 Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico

ABSTRACT: The protozoan Perkinsus marinus is considered the most important pathogen of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica, causing high mortality in natural and farmed oysters on the Atlantic coast of the US. In Mexico, no serious P. marinus epizootic has been reported. This study describes the current state of P. marinus prevalence in Terminos Lagoon (Mexico) associated with environmental factors including salinity, temperature, ammonium, nitrate, nitrite, silica, and phosphorus. In addition, the association of physiological (hemocyte density, protein concentration) and immunological (lysozyme, agglutination) parameters with the infection were studied. The prevalence was significantly different among seasons with mean values of 70, 23, and 7% in the dry (February to May), rainy (June to September) and north-wind (October to January) seasons, respectively. Only light infection intensity (Mackin scale value <1) was observed. Prevalence of P. marinus was associated with seasonal salinity, phosphorus, and silica variations. Comparisons of oyster health demonstrates that the rainy and north-wind seasons are stressful periods. Redundancy analysis showed that only 34% of the variation in seasonal P. marinus prevalence was explained by protein concentration (21%), lysozyme (12%), and agglutination (1%). Overall, the data suggest that freshwater input associated with high nutrient concentrations during the rainy and north-wind seasons has a strong negative effect on P. marinus prevalence and also influences the oysters’ physiology. It is probable that this seasonal stress was responsible for the absence of an epizootic event in Terminos Lagoon.


KEY WORDS: Perkinsus marinus · Crassostrea virginica · Environmental control · Salinity · Silica · Protein


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Cite this article as: Gullian-Klanian M, Herrera-Silveira JA, Rodríguez-Canul R, Aguirre-Macedo L (2008) Factors associated with the prevalence of Perkinsus marinus in Crassostrea virginica from the southern Gulf of Mexico. Dis Aquat Org 79:237-247. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao01910

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