Parasitology

Research Article

Haplosporidium raabei n. sp. (Haplosporidia): a parasite of zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1771)

D. P. MOLLOYa1 c1, L. GIAMBÉRINIa2, N. A. STOKESa3, E. M. BURRESONa3 and M. A. OVCHARENKOa4a5

a1 Division of Research and Collections, New York State Museum, Albany, NY 12230, USA

a2 Université Paul Verlaine – Metz, Laboratoire des Interactions, Ecotoxicologie, Biodiversité, Ecosystèmes (LIEBE), CNRS UMR 7146, Campus Bridoux, Rue du Général Delestraint, F-57070 Metz, France

a3 Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary, Gloucester Point, P.O. Box 1346, Virginia 23062, USA

a4 Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw, Poland

a5 Pomeranian Akademy, Arcishewski str. 22b, 76-200, Słupsk, Poland

SUMMARY

Extensive connective tissue lysis is a common outcome of haplosporidian infection. Although such infections in marine invertebrates are well documented, they are relatively rarely observed in freshwater invertebrates. Herein, we report a field study using a comprehensive series of methodologies (histology, dissection, electron microscopy, gene sequence analysis, and molecular phylogenetics) to investigate the morphology, taxonomy, systematics, geographical distribution, pathogenicity, and seasonal and annual prevalence of a haplosporidian observed in zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha. Based on its genetic sequence, morphology, and host, we describe Haplosporidium raabei n. sp. from D. polymorpha – the first haplosporidian species from a freshwater bivalve. Haplosporidium raabei is rare as we observed it in histological sections in only 0·7% of the zebra mussels collected from 43 water bodies across 11 European countries and in none that were collected from 10 water bodies in the United States. In contrast to its low prevalences, disease intensities were quite high with 79·5% of infections advanced to sporogenesis.

(Received March 15 2011)

(Revised July 28 2011)

(Revised September 10 2011)

(Revised October 13 2011)

(Accepted October 27 2011)

(Online publication January 05 2012)

Correspondence:

c1 Corresponding author: Present address: Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222, USA. Tel: +1 518 677 8245. Fax: +1 518 677 5236. E-mail: dmolloy@albany.edu

Metrics