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A qPCR-Based Survey of Haplosporidium nelsoni and Perkinsus spp. in the Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica in Maine, USA

1
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, Boothbay, ME 04544, USA
2
Department of Marine Sciences, Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, ME 04106, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(4), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9040256
Received: 9 March 2020 / Revised: 28 March 2020 / Accepted: 30 March 2020 / Published: 31 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Pathogens)
Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) aquaculture is increasingly playing a significant role in the state of Maine’s (USA) coastal economy. Here, we conducted a qPCR-based survey for Haplosporidium nelsoni, Perkinsus marinus, and Perkinsus chesapeaki in C. virginica (n = 1440) from six Maine sites during the summer–fall of 2016 and 2017. In the absence of reported die-offs, our results indicated the continued presence of the three protozoan parasites in the six sites. The highest H. nelsoni qPCR-prevalence corresponded to Jack’s Point and Prentiss Island ( x ¯ = 40 and 48% respectively), both located in the Damariscotta River Estuary. Jack’s Point, Prentiss Island, New Meadows River, and Weskeag River recorded the highest qPCR-prevalence for P. marinus (32–39%). While the P. marinus qPCR-prevalence differed slightly for the years 2016 and 2017, P. chesapeaki qPCR-prevalence in 2016 was markedly lower than 2017 (<20% at all sites versus >60% at all sites for each of the years, respectively). Mean qPCR-prevalence values for P. chesapeaki over the two-year study were ≥40% for samples from Jack’s Point (49%), Prentiss Island (44%), and New Meadows River (40%). This study highlights that large and sustained surveys for parasitic diseases are fundamental for decision making toward the management of the shellfish aquaculture industry, especially for having a baseline in the case that die-offs occur. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alveolate; Ascetospora; bivalves; host-parasite interaction; parasite association Alveolate; Ascetospora; bivalves; host-parasite interaction; parasite association
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Marquis, N.D.; Bishop, T.J.; Record, N.R.; Countway, P.D.; Fernández Robledo, J.A. A qPCR-Based Survey of Haplosporidium nelsoni and Perkinsus spp. in the Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica in Maine, USA. Pathogens 2020, 9, 256.

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