Needle in a haystack

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Title Needle in a haystack: involvement of the copepod paracartia grani in the life-cycle of the oyster pathogen Marteilia refringens
Author(s) C. Audemard, R. F. Le, A. Barnaud, C. Collins, B. Sautour, P. G. Sauria, M. X. de, C. Coustau, C. Combes, F. C. J. Berthe
Journal Parasitology
Date 2002
Volume 124
Issue Pt 3
Start page 315
End page 323
Abstract Marteilia refringens is a major pathogen of the European flat oyster, Ostrea edulis Linnaeus. Since its description, the life-cycle of this protozoan parasite has eluded discovery. Attempts to infect oysters experimentally have been unsuccessful and led to the hypothesis of a complex life-cycle involving several hosts. Knowledge of this life-cycle is of central importance in order to manage oyster disease. However, the exploration of M. refringens life-cycle has been previously limited by the detection tools available and the tremendous number of species to be screened in enzootic areas. In this study, these two restrictions were circumvented by the use of both molecular detection tools and a mesocosm with low biodiversity. Screening of the entire fauna of the pond for M. refringens DNA was systematically undertaken using PCR. Here, we show that the copepod Paracartia (Acartia) grani is a host of M. refringens. Not only was DNA of M. refringens consistently detected in P. grani but also the presence of the parasite in the ovarian tissues was demonstrated using in situ hybridization. Finally, successful experimental transmissions provided evidence that P. grani can be infected from infected flat oysters.
PubMed ID 11922433
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