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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

    DAO prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03537

    Defining the aetiology of amoebic diseases of aquatic animals: trends, hurdles and best practices

    Chloe J. English*, Paula C. Lima

    *Corresponding author:

    ABSTRACT: Disease caused by parasitic amoebae impacts a range of aquatic organisms including finfish, crustaceans, echinoderms and molluscs. Despite the significant economic impact caused in both aquaculture and fisheries, the aetiology of most aquatic amoebic diseases is uncertain, which then affects diagnosis, treatment and prevention. The main factors hampering research effort in this area are the confusion around amoeba taxonomy and the difficulty proving that a particular species causes specific lesions. These issues stem from morphological and genetic similarities between cryptic species and technical challenges such as establishing and maintaining pure amoeba cultures, scarcity of Amoebozoa sequence data, and the inability to trigger pathogenesis under experimental conditions. This review provides a critical analysis of how amoebae are commonly identified and defined as aetiological agents of disease in aquatic animals and highlights gaps in the available knowledge regarding determining pathogenic Amoebozoa.