Detection of the oyster parasite Bonamia ostreae by fluorescent in situ hybridization. (1/17)

Bonamia ostreae is an economically significant protistan parasite of the flat oyster Ostrea edulis in Europe and North America. Management of this parasite depends partly upon its reliable identification in wild and aquacultured oyster populations, but B. ostreae is small and difficult to detect by traditional microscopic methods. We designed a fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) assay to sensitively detect B. ostreae in standard histopathological sections of B. ostreae-infected oysters using fluorescently labeled DNA oligonucleotide probes. Hybridization using a cocktail of 3 presumptively B. ostreae-specific, fluorescein iso(thio)cyanate (FITC)-labeled oligonucleotides produced an unambiguous staining pattern of small green rings inside infected oyster hemocytes that was easily distinguished from host tissue background. This pattern is diagnostic for B. ostreae. A negative control cocktail of oligonucleotides containing 2 mismatches relative to target sequences, on the other hand, failed to hybridize at all. B. ostreae-specific probes did not cross-react with a related protist, Haplosporidium nelsoni.  (+info)

Haemolymph parasite of the shore crab Carcinus maenas: pathology, ultrastructure and observations on crustacean haplosporidians. (2/17)

A protozoan parasite with some features of haplosporidians is described from the European shore crab Carcinus maenas. The parasite establishes a systemic infection through the haemal sinuses and connective tissues. Intracellular stages of the parasite were found within reserve inclusion, connective tissue, and muscle cells, while free forms were present in all haemal spaces. A uninucleate stage appeared to develop to a multinucleate plasmodial stage following multiple mitotic divisions of the nucleus. Histopathology also indicated that nuclear division may occur to form multinucleate plasmodia, in connective tissue, reserve inclusion and muscle cells, the multinucleate plasmodium being enclosed in the host-cell plasma membrane. It appears that the multinucleate plasmodium may then undergo internal cleavages which result in plasmodial fragmentation to form many uninucleate stages. Both stages, but particularly the uninucleate stage, contained cytoplasmic, large, ovoid, dense vesicles (DVs), some of which contained an internal membrane separating the medulla from the cortex, as in haplosporosomes. Golgi-like cisternae, closely associated with the nuclear membrane, formed DVs and haplosporosome-like bodies (HLBs), superficially resembling viruses. Infrequently, HLBs may condense to form haplosporosomes. The DVs, as in spores of some Haplosporidium spp. and paramyxeans, may give rise to, and are homologous with, haplosporosomes. Other features, such as the presence of an intranuclear mitotic spindle, lipid droplets, and attachment of DVs and haplosporosomes to the nuclear membrane, indicate that the C. maenas parasite is a haplosporidian. A similar organism reported from the haemolymph of spot prawns Pandalus spp., and haplosporidians reported from prawns Penaeus vannamei and crabs Callinectes sapidus may belong to this group. It is concluded that the well-characterised haplosporidians of molluscs and some other invertebrates may not be characteristic of the whole phylum, and that morphologically and developmentally similar organisms may also be haplosporidians, whether they have haplosporosomes or not.  (+info)

'Cup cell disease' in the colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri. (3/17)

A new progressive, fatal disease called 'cup cell disease' was characterized in ex situ cultures of Botryllus schlosseri, a colonial tunicate. The disease originated as a few dark spots growing within zooids. The infected colonies then started to deteriorate, morphologically diagnosed by ampullar retraction, lethargic blood circulation and by a swollen and soft tunic matrix. In later stages of the disease, developed buds were also affected. Many large black dots were scattered within the tunic matrix, and zooids were transformed to opaque, dilated, sac-like structures, signaling impending death. Colonies were infected periodically, even without direct tissue contact. The time course from first appearance to colony death ranged between 30 and 45 d. Histological studies, in vitro culturing of blood cells and blood smears revealed the existence of numerous cup-like cells (up to 4.8 microm diameter on average) with a yellowish cell wall and transparent cytoplasm that was not stained by various dyes (except azocarmine-G). Cells were refractive under bright-field illumination and revealed a flattened wall with flanges, characteristic of species of the phylum Haplosporidia. Cup cells aggregated in blood vessels and in internal parts of zooids and buds and were phagocytosed by blood cells. In a single case, plasmodia-like structures were found only in the tunic matrix of an infected colony. This is the first record in botryllid ascidians of an infectious lethal disease associated with haplosporidian protists.  (+info)

Molecular detection of a haplosporidian parasite in carpet shell clam Ruditapes decussatus from Spain. (4/17)

A protozoan parasite identified by histology as a haplosporidian was detected in carpet shell clam Ruditapes decussatus from Spain during routine samplings. Analysis based on the sequence of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene revealed that this organism was related to the haplosporidian group, mainly to Urosporidium. A specific probe was used for in situ hybridization studies to show the specificity of the amplified sequence.  (+info)

Occurrence of the haemocyte parasite Bonamia sp. in flat oysters Ostrea puelchana farmed in San Antonio Bay (Argentina). (5/17)

Culture of native flat oysters Ostrea puelchana d'Orbigny in San Antonio Bay (San Matias Gulf, Argentina) began in 1995. After elevated mortality (33%) occurred in September 1996, 18 mo after immersion, histopathological analysis and evaluation of parasitic prevalence was carried out. In October 1997, after 31 mo of cultivation, cumulative mortality was 80%, and in December of the same year, when individuals reached marketable size, mortality was 95% and culture was discontinued. The present study describes the haemocytic parasitism that affected O. puelchana, and suggests that a Bonamia sp. was the etiological agent. This parasite should be considered as a different species from Bonamia sp. detected in Australia and New Zealand until more studies are made to determine the correct taxonomy. This work constitutes the first record of this haemocyte parasite in flat oysters from the Argentinean coast.  (+info)

Pilot study of the Olympia oyster Ostrea conchaphila in the San Francisco Bay estuary: description and distribution of diseases. (6/17)

Olympia oysters Ostrea conchaphila have declined markedly during the last century and are a focus of restoration in many embayments, including the San Francisco Bay (SFB) estuary. Oysters were collected from 17 sites in this estuary and nearby Tomales Bay in an effort to characterize diseases that may impact recovery of this species and captive rearing programs. Three diseases/disease agents including a Mikrocytos-like protist (microcell), a haplosporidian and hemic neoplasia were observed from several sites along the western margins of the SFB estuary suggesting a geographic localization of disease presence. Based on fluoresecent in situ hybridization (FISH) assays, the microcell is distinct from M. mackini and Bonamia spp. These data highlight the need for further elucidation of the haplosporidian and for careful health management of a declining species destined for captive rearing and supplementation.  (+info)

Development of a TaqMan PCR assay for the detection of Bonamia species. (7/17)

The development of molecular diagnostic assays with increased sensitivity compared with conventional histological techniques is highly desirable for effective management of bonamiosis in cultured oyster stocks and wild populations. A real-time TaqMan PCR assay was developed for the specific detection of Bonamia species in infected oyster tissues. The TaqMan assay was shown to be significantly more sensitive than histopathology. Although a real-time TaqMan PCR assay is comparable with conventional PCR in terms of sensitivity, it offers the advantages that it is a rapid test and has a very low risk of sample cross-contamination. Furthermore, it can be optimised to quantify the parasite load in samples. The assay detected Bonamia isolates from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Canada, Chile and the USA and therefore demonstrated genus specificity as tested in this study.  (+info)

Molecular characterisation of an Australian isolate of Bonamia exitiosa. (8/17)

An Australian (New South Wales) isolate of Bonamia was characterised at the molecular level by sequencing the 18S-ITS-1 region of the small subunit rRNA operon obtained from flat oysters Ostrea angasi shown to be infected by histological examination. Sequence data alignment with homologous genes from 2 other isolates of Bonamia (New Zealand and France) revealed high levels of nucleotide identity with both isolates. However, the Australian Bonamia is shown to be more closely related to the New Zealand isolate, suggesting the existence of an oceanic subgroup of Bonamia.  (+info)