Ciliates Associated with Sea Cucumbers
Category 4 (Negligible Regulatory Significance in Canada)
Common, generally accepted names of the organism or disease agent
Ciliates of sea cucumbers
Scientific name or taxonomic affiliation
Unidentified species of ciliates have been observed in close association with sea cucumbers.
Probably ubiquitous but each species may have a limited geographic.
Parastichopis californicus, Cucumaria frondosa and probably other species of holothurians.
Impact on the host
Numerous ciliates were observed free in the lumen and closely associated with the epithelial lining of the respiratory tree of two P. californicus maintained for about 6 months in a display tank, Departure Bay, British Columbia, Canada. Many ciliates similar in morphology to Type A from the intestinal tract of sea urchins were detected in the intestinal tract of 1 in 60 C. frondosa from Passamquoddy Bay, New Brunswick, Canada. There was no apparent host response nor tissue damage associated with any of the ciliates.
Histology: Ciliates adjacent to the epithelial surface with no evidence of tissue damage.
Methods of control
Prevention and control impractical. These ciliates are ubiquitous.
MacCallum, G.S., J. Blackbourn, S.E. McGladdery, S.M. Bower and J.T. Davidson. 2001. Disease issues relevant to the culture of shellfish in Atlantic and Pacific Canada. Bulletin of the Aquaculture Association of Canada 101-3: 5-12.
Bower, S.M. (2004): Synopsis of Infectious Diseases and Parasites of Commercially Exploited Shellfish: Ciliates Associated with Sea Cucumbers.
Date last revised: June 2004
Comments to Susan Bower
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