Biofouling as a reservoir of
Neoparamoeba pemaquidensis (Page, 1970), the causative agent of amoebic gill disease in Atlantic salmon
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Tan, CK and Nowak, BF and Hodson, SL, Biofouling as a reservoir of
Neoparamoeba pemaquidensis (Page, 1970), the causative agent of amoebic gill disease in Atlantic salmon, Aquaculture, 210, (1) pp. 49-58. ISSN 0044-8486 (2002) [Refereed Article]
Amoebic gill disease (AGD) is currently the most important disease affecting the Tasmanian salmonid industry and is caused by a marine amoeba, Neoparameoba pemaquidensis (Page, 1970). In this study biofouling communities on salmon cages were surveyed for the presence of the disease agent over a period of 4 months. Malt-yeast-seawater (MYS) agar plates were used to culture N. pemaquidensis with its presence confirmed by immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT). Positive percentages of categorised samples ranged from 0% to 55%. The survey detected the presence of N. pemaquidensis on a number of macrofouling species (in particular bryozoan Scrupocellaria bertholetti and solitary ascidian Ciona intestinalis), and in microfouling and water samples. High percentages of positive IFATs occurred in microfouling aggregates, the solitary ascidian, C. intestinalis, and centrifuged water samples. No positive IFATs occurred from samples of Caprella sp. The presence of N. pemaquidensis was sporadic and varied in species and over sampling month. Experimental exposure of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, to lightly fouled netting was conducted to assess the potential for microfouling to act as a source of infection. No signs of the disease were detected in fish exposed to lightly fouled netting treatments, while 100% of positive control fish were infected and had an average of 4.24 ± 1.79 amoebae per field of view in IFAT of mucus smears. When combined with N. pemaquidensis loads in the water column, the loads of amoebae in biofouling communities may contribute to disease outbreaks. Thus, biofouling should be considered a risk factor for AGD outbreaks. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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