DAO 84:237-242 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02046

Microsporidiosis in the Caribbean spiny lobster Panulirus argus from southeast Florida, USA

Yasunari Kiryu1,*, Donald C. Behringer2, Jan H. Landsberg1, Barbara D. Petty2,3

1Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 100 Eighth Avenue SE, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA
2Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, School of Forecast Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, 7922 NW 71 Street, Gainesville, Florida 32653, USA
3Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, 7922 NW 71 Street, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32653, USA

ABSTRACT: Two specimens of the Caribbean spiny lobster Panulirus argus captured by lobster fishers offshore of southeast Florida, USA, between late 2007 and early 2008 had completely white abdominal muscle tissue with a ‘cooked’ appearance. Wet-mount examination of the skeletal muscle tissue revealed masses of microsporidian spores. Histopathology of longitudinally sectioned skeletal muscle showed that the microsporidian spores displaced much of the muscle mass, but were interspersed with small empty vacuoles (approximately 5 µm in diameter) found adjacent to necrotic skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscle showed both liquefactive and coagulative necrosis. Transmission electron microscopy of the microsporidian spores revealed characteristics—including microvilli extending from the surface of the exospore, a unikaryotic spore (width 1.0 ± 0.13 µm, range 0.8 to 1.4 µm; length 1.4 ± 0.11 µm, range 1.2 to 1.6 µm; mean ± SD, N = 16), and an isofilar polar filament—consistent with the genus Ameson, which is known to infect other palinurid lobsters. Microsporidiosis in Caribbean spiny lobsters has rarely been reported within the lobster’s range, with only one brief report coming from the Florida Keys in 1976. Potential risks to the lobster fishery are unknown but warrant further study.


KEY WORDS: Microsporidia · Infection · Parasite · Spiny lobster · Panulirus argus · Skeletal muscle · Necrosis · Transmission electron microscopy


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Cite this article as: Kiryu Y, Behringer DC, Landsberg JH, Petty BD (2009) Microsporidiosis in the Caribbean spiny lobster Panulirus argus from southeast Florida, USA. Dis Aquat Org 84:237-242. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02046

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