Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New parasite could be late summer beach pest

10.06.2010
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have discovered a new sea anemone that is thought to have established itself in Swedish waters. Larvae from similar anemones causes skin problems for sea bathers in the USA.

Researchers at the Department of Marine Ecology at the University of Gothenburg have been following the invasion of the American comb jellyfish, Mnemiopsis, for several years. They have now discovered that it contains larvae from another species: a sea anemone that lives on it as a parasite. According to the researchers, this could be the same parasite that causes skin rashes on sea bathers in the USA.

Causes skin irritation
The sea anemone, which the Gothenburg researchers believe to have identified through DNA analysis as Edwardsiella, is common in the comb jellyfish’s natural environment in the West Atlantic, but has not previously been found in Swedish waters or anywhere else that the comb jellyfish has spread to. It is the sea anemone’s larvae which live as parasites on the jellyfish, and which cause skin irritation in humans – and these may be problematic for Swedish sea bathers too.
Further genetic analysis
“The American variety of the sea anemone causes a skin complaint known as sea bather’s eruption, which doesn’t generally require treatment, but takes the form of quite a nasty rash that lasts for a few days,” says researcher Erik Selander. “But the anemone we have found is confusingly similar to a Swedish anemone called Edwardsiella carnea, and we won’t know which of the two species it is, or whether there actually are two species involved, until we have carried out further genetic analysis.
Isolated cases
“If it is the American Edwardsiella that has come here, we could see isolated cases of sea bather’s eruption here in Sweden too as we move towards autumn,” believes Selander.
September peak
“However, we haven’t seen the extreme numbers of the species in Swedish waters that are present on the American east coast. The anemone larvae also peak in September, after the high season for Swedish bathers.”
Not entirely bad
Erik Selander and his colleagues recorded the parasite during two separate surveys in 2007 and 2008. In the latter, parasite numbers had increased to 40 per of the comb jellyfish numbers. From an ecological point of view, the finding is therefore not an entirely bad thing.
Can suppress invading jellyfish
“The explosive increase in numbers of comb jellyfish here and in the Black Sea, for example, is thought to be down to the fact that the jellyfish has fewer natural predators here than in its natural environment,” says Selander. “It is therefore particularly exciting to see what will happen now that a natural predator has shown up. Given that there are so many parasites, it is hoped that they can help suppress the invasion of the jellyfish somewhat, as it seems to do on the other side of the Atlantic.”

The article Parasitic anemone infects the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi in the North East Atlantic was published in the May edition of the journal Biological Invasions.

Contact:
Erik Selander, Department of Marine Ecology, University of Gothenburg

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>