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Open AccessArticle

Mycosis Is a Disease State Encountered Rarely in Shore Crabs, Carcinus maenas

1
Department of Biosciences, College of Science, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, Wales, UK
2
Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Barrack Road, The Nothe, Weymouth DT4 8UB, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(6), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9060462
Received: 22 May 2020 / Revised: 9 June 2020 / Accepted: 10 June 2020 / Published: 11 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Pathogens)
There is a paucity of knowledge regarding the diversity and impact(s) of disease-causing fungi in marine animals, especially shellfish. In efforts to address this knowledge gap for the shore crab Carcinus maenas, a year-long disease screen was carried out across two sites in Swansea Bay (Wales, UK) with a view to characterising putative fungal infections. Crabs were sampled between November 2017 and October 2018, and screened systematically for disease signatures using haemolymph (blood) preparations, targeted PCR and tissue histopathology. Strikingly, mycosis was confirmed in ~0.4% of total crabs tested (n = 1191) and restricted to one location only (Mumbles Pier). Clinical infections were observed in four out of four infected crabs. In these animals, the gills and hepatopancreas were congested with fungal morphotypes. In addition, some evidence indicates haemocyte (immune cell) reactivity toward the fungi. Phylogenetic placement of the partial internal transcribed spacer (ITS1) gene regions amplified from three mycotic crabs revealed the causative agent to be related to hypocrealean fungi, thereby representing a novel species. View Full-Text
Keywords: marine fungi; phylogeny; histopathology; parasite; disease connectivity; fisheries marine fungi; phylogeny; histopathology; parasite; disease connectivity; fisheries
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Davies, C.E.; Malkin, S.H.; Thomas, J.E.; Batista, F.M.; Rowley, A.F.; Coates, C.J. Mycosis Is a Disease State Encountered Rarely in Shore Crabs, Carcinus maenas. Pathogens 2020, 9, 462.

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