Coccidia in Sea Cucumbers

Category

Category 4 (Negligible Regulatory Significance in Canada)

Common, generally accepted names of the organism or disease agent

Coccidia of sea cucumbers

Scientific name or taxonomic affiliation

Unidentified species of apicomplexa observed in the connective tissue surrounding the respiratory tree and cloaca of sea cucumbers.

Geographic distribution

Only reported from one captive Parastichopis californicus Departure Bay, British Columbia, Canada.

Host species

Parastichopis californicus.

Impact on the host

Oocysts of an unidentified coccidian were observed embedded in the connective tissue surrounding the respiratory tree and in the connective tissue between the muscle bundles of the cloaca of one specimen held in a display tank.

Diagnostic techniques

Histology: Developing and mature coccidian oocysts about 50 µm in diameter in the connective tissue of internal organs with direct access to the environments such as the respiratory tree and cloaca. Other developmental stages have not yet been encountered.

Figure 1. Mature coccidian oocyst in the connective tissue surrounding the respiratory tree of Parastichopis californicus from a display tank in British Columbia, Canada. Haematoxylin and eosin stain.

Figure 2. Developing coccidian oocyst in the connective tissue between the muscle bundles of the cloaca of the same sea cucumber featured in Fig. 1. Haematoxylin and eosin stain.

Methods of control

Prevention and control impractical.

References

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.

Citation Information

Bower, S.M. (2004): Synopsis of Infectious Diseases and Parasites of Commercially Exploited Shellfish: Coccidia in Sea Cucumbers.

Date last revised: June 2004
Comments to Susan Bower

Date modified: