DAO 88:169-175 (2010)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02158

NOTE
Epizootic ulcerative syndrome caused by Aphanomyces invadans in captive bullseye snakehead Channa marulius collected from south Florida, USA

Ryan K. Saylor1, Debra L. Miller2,*, Mark W. Vandersea3, Mark S. Bevelhimer4, Pamela J. Schofield5, Wayne A. Bennett1

1Department of Biology, University of West Florida, 11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, Florida 32514, USA
2Veterinary Diagnostic and Investigational Laboratory, University of Georgia, 43 Brighton Road, Tifton, Georgia 31793-1389, USA
3National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 101 Pivers Island Road, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, USA
4Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Environmental Sciences Division, PO Box 2008, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6351, USA
5US Geological Survey, 7920 NW 71st Street, Gainesville, Florida 32653, USA
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) caused by the oomycete Aphanomyces invadans is an invasive, opportunistic disease of both freshwater and estuarine fishes. Originally documented as the cause of mycotic granulomatosis of ornamental fishes in Japan and as the cause of EUS of fishes in southeast Asia and Australia, this pathogen is also present in estuaries and freshwater bodies of the Atlantic and gulf coasts of the USA. We describe a mass mortality event of 343 captive juvenile bullseye snakehead Channa marulius collected from freshwater canals in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Clinical signs appeared within the first 2 d of captivity and included petechiae, ulceration, erratic swimming, and inappetence. Histological examination revealed hyphae invading from the skin lesions deep into the musculature and internal organs. Species identification was confirmed using a species-specific PCR assay. Despite therapeutic attempts, 100% mortality occurred. This represents the first documented case of EUS in bullseye snakehead fish collected from waters in the USA. Future investigation of the distribution and prevalence of A. invadans within the bullseye snakehead range in south Florida may give insight into this pathogen-host system.


KEY WORDS: Epizootic ulcerative syndrome · Mycotic dermatitis · Mycotic myositis · Non-native fish species · Oomycete · Water mold


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Cite this article as: Saylor RK, Miller DL, Vandersea MW, Bevelhimer MS, Schofield PJ, Bennett WA (2010) Epizootic ulcerative syndrome caused by Aphanomyces invadans in captive bullseye snakehead Channa marulius collected from south Florida, USA. Dis Aquat Org 88:169-175. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02158

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