Interactions between Paramoeba perurans, the causative agent of amoebic gill disease, and the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis

Christine Rolin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)
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    Amoebic gill disease (AGD) is caused by the ectoparasite Paramoeba perurans found free-living in seawater. In recent years outbreaks of AGD have occurred in most salmon farming countries causing significant economic losses. Mussels co-cultured with salmon in integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) systems may change pathogen dynamics on sites by acting as reservoirs or biological controls. Through the use of an 18S rRNA gene quantitative real-time PCR we tested the interactions between P. perurans and blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) under experimental conditions by means of water-borne transmission. Quantification of DNA from water samples revealed a rapid decrease in P. perurans DNA over two weeks in the presence of mussels under experimental conditions. P. perurans was detected on swabs from mussel shells up to 48 h post-exposure. Additionally, no P. perurans were detected in mussels collected from natural mussel beds and fish farms. These results indicate that mussels are not a likely reservoir host for P. perurans but may in fact actively remove water-borne P. perurans.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-8
    Number of pages8
    Early online date22 Jan 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


    • Blue mussel
    • Paramoeba perurans
    • Amoebic gill disease
    • Biological control
    • Atlantic Salmon
    • Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture


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