A hyperparasitic microsporidian infecting the salmon louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis

An rDNA-based molecular phylogenetic study

M. A. Freeman, Andrew Stuart Bell, C. Sommerville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The sea louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, is an obligate ectoparasitic copepod that lives on the external surface of salmonid fish. It is the most common ectoparasite of marine cage-reared salmonids, causing major economic loss to the aquaculture industry. During a sea louse monitoring programme, samples of L. salmonis were found to harbour an unreported microsporidian parasite. The microsporidian was observed in pre-adult and adult stages of both male and female copepods, with a prevalence of up to 5%. Unfixed spores were slightly pyriform in shape measuring 2.34 μm by 1.83 μm (±0.01 μm) and were not observed to be enclosed by a sporophorous vesicle. The microsporidian infection was observed in all areas of the copepods' body, xenoma-like cysts forming directly under the cuticle in the epidermal tissue layer. In the present study, rDNA (530f-580r) sequence data gathered from the unidentified microsporidian parasite isolated from infected sea lice were compared with equivalents available in the databases in an attempt to identify its systematic position. The microsporidian was found to group within the phylogenetic clade containing the family Enterocytozoonidae, being most similar to members of the intranuclear genus Nucleospora. This is the first report of a hyperparasitic microsporidian infecting a caligid copepod.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-676
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Fish Diseases
Volume26
Issue number11-12
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003

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Copepoda
Lepeophtheirus salmonis
louse
Microsporidia
Ribosomal DNA
Phthiraptera
phylogenetics
Caligidae
phylogeny
parasite
Oceans and Seas
aquaculture industry
ectoparasite
salmonid
cuticle
cyst
vesicle
spore
harbor
Parasites

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)

Cite this

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abstract = "The sea louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, is an obligate ectoparasitic copepod that lives on the external surface of salmonid fish. It is the most common ectoparasite of marine cage-reared salmonids, causing major economic loss to the aquaculture industry. During a sea louse monitoring programme, samples of L. salmonis were found to harbour an unreported microsporidian parasite. The microsporidian was observed in pre-adult and adult stages of both male and female copepods, with a prevalence of up to 5{\%}. Unfixed spores were slightly pyriform in shape measuring 2.34 μm by 1.83 μm (±0.01 μm) and were not observed to be enclosed by a sporophorous vesicle. The microsporidian infection was observed in all areas of the copepods' body, xenoma-like cysts forming directly under the cuticle in the epidermal tissue layer. In the present study, rDNA (530f-580r) sequence data gathered from the unidentified microsporidian parasite isolated from infected sea lice were compared with equivalents available in the databases in an attempt to identify its systematic position. The microsporidian was found to group within the phylogenetic clade containing the family Enterocytozoonidae, being most similar to members of the intranuclear genus Nucleospora. This is the first report of a hyperparasitic microsporidian infecting a caligid copepod.",
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A hyperparasitic microsporidian infecting the salmon louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis : An rDNA-based molecular phylogenetic study. / Freeman, M. A.; Bell, Andrew Stuart; Sommerville, C.

In: Journal of Fish Diseases, Vol. 26, No. 11-12, 01.11.2003, p. 667-676.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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