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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

    DAO prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03580

    Cluster of scuticociliate (Philasterides dicentrarchi) infection in a multispecies marine aquarium system

    Marion Jalenques, St├ęphane Lair, Heike Schmidt-Posthaus, Meret Jufer, Benjamin Lamglait*

    *Corresponding author:

    ABSTRACT: Scuticociliatosis, caused by ciliated protozoa of the subclass Scuticociliatia, has been associated with high mortalities in marine fish. Environmental factors such as increase in water temperature can enhance this disease. The aim of the present report is to describe the occurrence of a cluster of cases of scuticociliatosis in a multispecies marine cold-water system in a public aquarium. Philasterides dicentrarchi was identified by polymerase chain reaction in formalin-fixed tissues of some of the fish showing meningitis or meningoencephalitis, dermatitis and myositis with intralesional protozoa. An increase in water temperature of approximately 2°C was identified as a potential contributing factor for this cluster of infections. Higher temperature may have enhanced the propagation or the pathogenicity of scuticociliates or have increased host susceptibility of some species of fish, especially wolf-eel (Anarrhichthys ocellatus) and spotted ratfish (Hydrolagus colliei). This report also highlights the complexity of dealing with mixed species systems housing fish from different natural ecozones.