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 What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals
23.08.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Treating arthritis with algae
23.08.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>