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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 91:67-73 (2010)  -  DOI:

Histopathology of oedema in pearl oysters Pinctada maxima

J. B. Jones*, M. Crockford, J. Creeper, F. Stephens

Department of Fisheries, PO Box 20, North Beach, Western Australia 6920, Australia

ABSTRACT: In October 2006, severe mortalities (80 to 100%) were reported in pearl oyster Pinctada maxima production farms from Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia. Only P. maxima were affected; other bivalves including black pearl oysters P. margaratifera remained healthy. Initial investigations indicated that the mortality was due to an infectious process, although no disease agent has yet been identified. Gross appearance of affected oysters showed mild oedema, retraction of the mantle, weakness and death. Histology revealed no inflammatory response, but we did observe a subtle lesion involving tissue oedema and oedematous separation of epithelial tissues from underlying stroma. Oedema or a watery appearance is commonly reported in published descriptions of diseased molluscs, yet in many cases the terminology has been poorly characterised. The potential causes of oedema are reviewed; however, the question remains as to what might be the cause of oedema in molluscs that are normally iso-osmotic with seawater and have no power of anisosmotic extracellular osmotic regulation.

KEY WORDS: Oedema · Pinctada maxima · Osmosis · Lesion · Mortality

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Cite this article as: Jones JB, Crockford M, Creeper J, Stephens F (2010) Histopathology of oedema in pearl oysters Pinctada maxima. Dis Aquat Org 91:67-73.

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