DAO 88:13-23 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02136

First report of Perkinsus sp. infecting mangrove oysters Crassostrea rhizophorae from the Brazilian coast

Rachel Costa Sabry1, Rafael Diego Rosa2, Aimê Rachel Magenta Magalhães3, Margherita Anna Barracco2, Tereza Cristina Vasconcelos Gesteira1, Patricia Mirella da Silva3,4,*

1Instituto de Ciências do Mar, Universidade Federal do Ceará, PO Box 52756, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
2Departamento de Biologia Celular, Embriologia e Genética, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, PO Box 476, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
3Departamento de Aquicultura, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, PO Box 476, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
4Present address: Núcleo de Engenharia de Pesca, Departamento de Engenharia Agronômica, Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, Rua Mal. Rondon s/n, Cidade Universitária Prof. José Aloísio de Campos, Jardim Rosa Elze, 49100-000, São Cristóvão, SE, Brazil
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Protozoan parasites of the genus Perkinsus are considered important pathogens responsible for mass mortalities in several mollusk species worldwide. In the present study we describe for the first time a parasite of the genus Perkinsus infecting the mangrove oyster Crassostrea rhizophorae from the Brazilian coast. Prevalence of this parasite was low in the Pacoti River estuary (Ceará, northeast Brazil) and absent in oysters from southern Brazil. Oyster gill and rectum tissues incubated in Ray’s fluid thioglycollate medium (RFTM) revealed the presence of spherical hypnospores (5 to 55 µm diam.). Histological analysis showed the occurrence of typical signet-ring trophozoites and schizonts (3 to 6 µm diam.) infecting connective tissues of several organs and digestive epithelia. PCR assays specific to the genus Perkinsus, followed by cloning and sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) gene complex, confirmed a close phylogenetic relationship between Brazilian Perkinsus sp. and P. beihaiensis infecting Chinese oysters.


KEY WORDS: Crassostrea rhizophorae · Mangrove oyster · Perkinsus sp. · Protozoan parasite · PCR-RFLP · rRNA · RFTM · Sporulation


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Cite this article as: Sabry RC, Rosa RD, Magalhães ARM, Barracco MA, Gesteira TCV, da Silva PM (2009) First report of Perkinsus sp. infecting mangrove oysters Crassostrea rhizophorae from the Brazilian coast. Dis Aquat Org 88:13-23. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02136

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