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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 134:167-173 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03375

NOTE
Shedding and survival of an intracellular pathogenic Endozoicomonas-like organism infecting king scallop Pecten maximus

Patrick M. Hooper, Stuart H. Ross, Stephen W. Feist, Irene Cano*

International Centre of Excellence for Aquatic Animal Health, Cefas Weymouth Laboratory, Barrack Road, The Nothe, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UB, UK
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The Lyme Bay marine protected area (MPA) hosts a valuable population of king scallop Pecten maximus L. Recently, an Endozoicomonas-like organism (ELO), infecting host gill epithelial tissue, was associated with king scallop mass mortality events within the Lyme Bay MPA. Currently, very little is known about its transmission and survival outside the host. In this investigation, animals collected outside of reported mortality events showed high levels of ELO infection. Gill tissue disruption and the release of bacteria into the interlamellar space was seen histologically, suggesting shedding of ELO from host animals. To investigate pathogen survival outside the host, infected scallops were maintained in static water for a 24 h period, and then removed. Over the subsequent 8 d, water samples were collected and the quantity of ELO 16S rRNA transcript was measured by TaqManTM quantitative PCR (qPCR). The 16S rRNA transcript quantity was stable outside the host for 6 d before bacteria survival declined 2 logs (7.9 × 108 16S rRNA to 2.3 × 106 transcripts), suggesting that ELO can survive independently outside the host organism. The ELO-specific qPCR probe can therefore be used in future field studies of ELO prevalence within the environment and fauna of the Lyme Bay MPA.


KEY WORDS: Endozoicomonas-like organism · Pecten maximus · Pathogen shedding · Quantitative PCR · Rickettsiales-like organism


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Cite this article as: Hooper PM, Ross SH, Feist SW, Cano I (2019) Shedding and survival of an intracellular pathogenic Endozoicomonas-like organism infecting king scallop Pecten maximus. Dis Aquat Org 134:167-173. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03375

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