DAO 46:231-236 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/dao046231

Estimated prevalence of Aerococcus viridans and Anophryoides haemophila in American lobsters Homarus americanus freshly captured in the waters of Prince Edward Island, Canada

Jean Lavallée1,*, K. Larry Hammell2, Elizabeth S. Spangler2, Richard J. Cawthorn1

1Departments of Pathology and Microbiology, and 2Health Management, AVC Lobster Science Centre, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island C1A 4P3, Canada

ABSTRACT: The Canadian lobster industry holds lobsters Homarus americanus in captivity for various periods to supply markets with live product year-round. Mortality during holding results in considerable losses, estimated at 10 to 15% yr-1 by the industry. This study examined the prevalence of Anophryoides haemophila and Aerococcus viridans, causative agents of Œbumper car¹ disease and gaffkemia, respectively, in lobsters freshly captured in the waters of Prince Edward Island during the spring and fall fishing seasons of 1997. A total of 116 lobsters were sampled in the spring, and 138 in the fall. A. haemophila was not detected in the spring, while the prevalence was 0.72% in the fall with a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 0.02 to 3.97% and an overall prevalence of 0.39% (95% CI: 0.01 to 2.17%). The prevalence of A. viridans was estimated at 6.9% (95% CI: 3.0 to 13.14%) in the spring, 5.8% in the fall (95% CI: 2.54 to 11.10%), and 6.30% overall (95% CI: 3.64 to 10.03%). Because of the reduced interest in food of diseased lobsters, and compromised metabolism in the case of gaffkemia, these prevalence estimates are likely underestimates of the true prevalence of gaffkemia and Œbumper car¹ disease in the wild populations of lobster around Prince Edward Island.

KEY WORDS: Lobster · Homarus americanus · Disease · Anophryoides haemophila · Aerococcus viridans · Gaffkemia · ŒBumper car¹ disease

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