DAO 83:145-152 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02019

First record of a Kabatana sp. microsporidium infecting fish in the Atlantic Ocean

I. Barber1,*, A. J. Davies2, J. E. Ironside3, E. Forsgren4,5, T. Amundsen4

1Department of Biology, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
2School of Life Sciences, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston, London KT1 2EE, UK
3Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Penglais, Aberystwyth SY23 3DA, UK
4Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
5Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, 7485 Trondheim, Norway
*Email:

ABSTRACT: Two-spotted goby Gobiusculus flavescens from the Swedish Gullmarsfjord regularly present subcutaneous creamy-white patches in the body musculature, associated with Kabatana sp. infection. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene of the microsporidium showed 98.54% homology with Kabatana newberryi infecting a marine goby from California, indicating that the Swedish microsporidium is either a different strain of K. newberryi or a closely related species. This represents the first record of a Kabatana species in the Atlantic Ocean. The genetic similarity of the 2 microsporidia was paralleled by close infection phenotypes. Infected muscle fibres were swollen compared to adjacent non-infected fibres, and mature spore masses were found throughout the skeletal musculature. No xenoma formation was detected. Since G. flavescens is an established model species in behavioural ecology, the host–parasite system is ideally suited for testing how microsporidian infections affect host behaviour and fitness.


KEY WORDS: Microsporidia · Kabatana · Two-spotted goby · Gobiusculus flavescens · Parasites · Tidewater goby · Eucyclogobius newberryi


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Cite this article as: Barber I, Davies AJ, Ironside JE, Forsgren E, Amundsen T (2009) First record of a Kabatana sp. microsporidium infecting fish in the Atlantic Ocean. Dis Aquat Org 83:145-152. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02019

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