DAO 97:95-102 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02400

Injection of Acanthaster planci with thiosulfate-citrate-bile-sucrose agar (TCBS). II. Histopathological changes

J. A. Rivera-Posada1,*, M. Pratchett1, L. Owens2

1ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4812, Australia
2School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4812, Australia

ABSTRACT: We assessed histological changes in the tissues of the crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci (COTS) after injection of thiosulfate-citrate-bile-sucrose agar (TCBS) which was used as a disease inducer (potential outbreak control method), by conventional and scanning electron microscopy. Digestive glands were processed and stained with hematoxylin and eosin to describe the histological architecture of the intestinal epithelium. Subsequently comparison of healthy versus infected tissues and Gram stains were carried out to confirm bacterial occurrence on infected tissues, characterize the structural changes induced by bacterial communities in COTS tissues, and to determine if the histopathological changes of intestinal tissues were consistent with vibrio infection. TCBS injections induced marked epithelial desquamation, hypertrophy and hypersecretion of glandular cells, epithelial cell destruction, pyknosis, reduction of thickness and disorganization of connective tissue and associated nerve plexus, presence of bacterial colonies, irregular eosinophilic foci in glandular cells, brush border disruption, atrophy and detachment of intestinal microvilli and cell debris in the lumen. All these changes were attributed to a fulminating systemic dysbiosis and were consistent with vibrio infections.


KEY WORDS: Vibrio · Crown-of-thorns · Microbe−host tissue interactions · Pyloric caeca


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Cite this article as: Rivera-Posada JA, Pratchett M, Owens L (2011) Injection of Acanthaster planci with thiosulfate-citrate-bile-sucrose agar (TCBS). II. Histopathological changes. Dis Aquat Org 97:95-102. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02400

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