We are examining how bryozoans act as a source of a disease in salmon and trout that is increasing in prevalence and severity as a result of environmental change.
Myxozoans are a group of parasites that live inside the bodies of their hosts. They have a complex life cycle, exploiting both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. The myxozoan Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae develops in freshwater bryozoans and causes a devastating disease called Proliferative Kidney Disease (PKD) when transmitted to salmon and trout hosts.
PKD is emerging as a serious disease in wild and farmed fish populations as a result of environmental change.
A second project uses molecular tools to sample myxozoan diversity and distribution to determine what other fish diseases may be associated with myxozoans that develop in bryozoans.
Swollen kidney of fish with PKD.
Myxozoa are endoparasites, meaning they live within their hosts. Myxozoans have a two-host lifestyle, for example developing infectious spores while living in bryozoans, which then disperse and infect fish.