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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 58:261-264 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/dao058261

First record of the microsporidian parasite Steinhausia mytilovum in Mytilus sp. (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) from France

Thierry Comtet1,2,*, Céline Garcia1,3, Yvette Le Coguic1, Jean-Pierre Joly1,3

1Laboratoire Conchylicole de Bretagne, IFREMER, Station de la Trinité-sur-Mer, 12 rue des résistants, BP 26, 56470 La Trinité-sur-Mer, France
2UMR CNRS-UPMC 7127, Equipe Ecologie Benthique, Station Biologique, BP 74, 29682 Roscof Cedex, France
3Laboratoire Génétique et Pathologie, IFREMER, Station de la Tremblade, Ronce-les-Bains, BP 133, 17390 La Tremblade, France

ABSTRACT: Steinhausia mytilovum is a globally distributed microsporidian parasite which infects the oocytes of the blue mussels Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis. Despite the intensive monitoring effort made on mussel populations, the parasite has not previously been reported in France. We report herein on the occurrence of S. mytilovum in Mytilus sp. from 1 cultured and 2 natural populations on the northern coast of France, thus extending the parasite¹s known distribution northwards. We also report on the observation in 1989 of S. mytilovum in M. galloprovincialis from the Golfe de Fos area in the Mediterranean Sea (South of France). S. mytilovum was observed in the European hybrid zone between M. edulis and M. galloprovincialis, which therefore renders the exact taxonomic status of the infected hosts unknown. The prevalence of the parasite was low, which suggests that its effect on mussel populations was probably limited.

KEY WORDS: Mytilus edulis · Mytilus galloprovincialis · Steinhausia mytilovum · Microsporidia · Parasite · Aquaculture

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