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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 85:67-75 (2009)  -  DOI:

Effects of temperature and salinity on the survival of Bonamia ostreae, a parasite infecting flat oysters Ostrea edulis

Isabelle Arzul1,*, Béatrice Gagnaire2, Céline Bond1, Bruno Chollet1, Benjamin Morga1, Sylvie Ferrand1, Maeva Robert1, Tristan Renault1

1Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), Laboratoire de Génétique et Pathologie (LGP), avenue de Mus de Loup, 17390 La Tremblade, France
2Laboratory of Radioecology and Ecotoxicology, DEI/SECRE/LRE, Institute of Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), Cadarache, Building 186, BP 3, 13115 St-Paul-lez-Durance Cedex, France

ABSTRACT: Bonamiosis due to the intrahaemocytic protistan parasite Bonamia ostreae is a European endemic disease affecting the flat oyster Ostrea edulis. The parasite has been described in various ecosystems from estuaries to open sea, but no clear correlation has yet been demonstrated between disease development and environmental parameters. In this study, the effect of temperature and salinity on the survival of purified parasites maintained in vitro in seawater was investigated by flow cytometry. Purified parasites were incubated in various seawater media (artificial seawater, natural seawater, seabed borewater)  at various temperatures (4, 15 and 25°C) and subjected to a range of salinities from 5 to 45 g l–1. Parasites were collected after 12, 24 and 48 h of incubation for flow cytometry analyses including estimation of parasite mortality and parasite viability through detection of non-specific esterase activities. Artificial seawater appeared unsuitable for parasite survival, and results for all media showed a significantly lower survival at 25°C compared to 4°C and 15°C. Moreover, high salinities (≥35 g l–1) favoured parasite survival and detection of esterase activities. Flow cytometry appears to be a suitable technique to investigate survival and activities of unicellular parasites like B. ostreae under varied conditions. Although these results contribute to a better understanding of existing interactions between the parasite B. ostreae and its environment, validation through epidemiological surveys in the field is also needed.

KEY WORDS: Bonamia ostreae · Flow cytometry · In vitro assays · Cell viability . Temperature tolerance · Salinity tolerance

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Cite this article as: Arzul I, Gagnaire B, Bond C, Chollet B and others (2009) Effects of temperature and salinity on the survival of Bonamia ostreae, a parasite infecting flat oysters Ostrea edulis. Dis Aquat Org 85:67-75.

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