Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


A new parasite species described

While studying towards his doctorate of philosophy, Anders Jørgensen discovered a previously undescribed species of parasite that infects farmed fish and produces serious disease.

Single-celled parasites of the genus Spironucleus are known to produce serious illness in farmed and aquarium fish.

In farmed salmon, these parasites create foul-smelling, puss-filled abscesses in muscles and internal organs. After the first outbreaks of this disease were described in farmed salmon in the late 1980’s, it was assumed that the cause was Spironucleus barkhanus, which is a fairly common parasite in the intestine of wild grayling and Arctic char.

In these fish species, however, the parasite is benign. For his doctorate, Jørgensen completed genetic studies showing that the disease-causing parasite in farmed salmon is genetically quite different from the species one finds in wild salmonids, although they appear to be identical, even under high magnification in an electron microscope. Based on this observation, the parasite that causes disease in farmed salmon has now been described as a new species – Spironucleus salmonicida.

“Our work has shown that genetic methods need to be utilised for correct identification of single-celled parasites of the genus Spironucleus. Parasites that appear to be identical morphologically may in fact be significantly different genetically. An exact identification of organisms that produce disease is extremely important in the fight to find the cause of disease outbreaks and provides an important contribution to finding appropriate diagnostic methods”, says Anders Jørgensen.

Jørgensen carried out similar studies with other Spironucleus species, which he also incorporatd into his doctoral thesis. Spironucleus vortens, which causes disease in aquarium fish, is also found in wild carp in Norway. Even though these parasites appear to be identical, they are very different genetically. Jørgensen also addressed the cod parasite Spironucleus torosus, which is found in several genetic variants. Based on these new findings, Jørgensen discusses whether the genetic differences between the variants provides a basis for splitting them into separate species.

Finally, Jørgensen investigated relationships between a series of species. These investigations showed that parasites from other Spironucleus families form three primary groups, which reflect the different environments their host species live in. His thesis hints that each of these groups may constitute a separate genus.

Magnhild Jenssen | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: Genetic Jørgensen Spironucleus described parasite species

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

First results of NSTX-U research operations

26.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

UCI and NASA document accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica

26.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>