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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 108:45-52 (2014)  -  DOI:

Seasonal monitoring of Kudoa yasunagai from sea water and aquaculture water using quantitative PCR

Katsuya Ishimaru, Takumi Matsuura, Kazunobu Tsunemoto, Sho Shirakashi*

Fisheries Laboratory, Kinki University, Shirahama, Wakayama 649-2211, Japan
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Kudoid myxozoans pose serious chronic problems in marine fisheries by causing pathological damage to host fish, reducing the market value of infected fish and potentially threatening public health. Kudoa yasunagai is a cosmopolitan parasite that infects the brains of various marine fishes, including important aquaculture species. We developed a quantitative PCR assay to detect K. yasunagai in sea water, and we used it to monitor abundance of the parasite in the environment and in culture through spring and winter. Quantitative PCR detected K. yasunagai DNA from sea water, with the lowest reliable threshold of 162 copies 28S rDNA l-1. Parasite DNA was detected sporadically in sea water throughout the study period of May through December 2012. The highest level of detected DNA occurred in mid-December (winter), at 117180 copies—equivalent to an estimate of over 200 myxospores l-1. Parasite DNA was generally not detected in August or September, the period with the highest water temperature. The reason for this observation is unknown, but the timing of parasite development may play a role. The amount of detected DNA was not different between unfiltered culture water and water filtered through a high-speed fiber filtration system. This result and the past incidence of high infection rate of fish reared in filtered water indicate that the mechanical removal of K. yasunagai from culture water is difficult. Detecting the precise onset and time window of infection in host fish will be an important step in the development of measures to control this economically important parasite.

KEY WORDS: Myxozoa · Quantitative PCR · qPCR · Actinospore · Sea water · Seasonality

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Cite this article as: Ishimaru K, Matsuura T, Tsunemoto K, Shirakashi S (2014) Seasonal monitoring of Kudoa yasunagai from sea water and aquaculture water using quantitative PCR. Dis Aquat Org 108:45-52.

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