Nematode Parasitism of Scallops
Category 4 (Negligible Regulatory Significance in Canada)
Common, generally accepted names of the organism or disease agent
Nematode parasitism of oysters, Larval nematode infection.
Scientific name or taxonomic affiliation
Sulcascaris sulcata (family Anisakidae). This nematode in scallops also incorrectly identified as Paranisakis pectinis and possibly as a species of Porrocaecum.
Eastern coast of the U.S.A. form Virginia south.
Larvae reported from Argopecten gibbus, Argopecten irradians, and Pecten sp. as well as from surf clams, Spisula solidissima, the welk, Busycon caniculata, and the moon snail, Lunatia heros. The adult stage of this nematode occurs in loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta, and the green turtle, Chelonia mydas.
Impact on the host
The larvae of S. sulcata usually occurs in the digestive gland or adductor muscle of scallops. Infection may cause the adductor muscle to take on a brownish colour, due to the presence of the protistan hyperparasite Urosporidium spisuli in the nematode, and the presence of two to four larvae caused sufficient damage to the adductor muscle that the tonicity was lost. However, prevalence is usually low (less than 3%).
Gross Observations: Possible discolouration of the adductor muscle.
Methods of control
No known methods of prevention or control. However, sea turtles infected with the adult stage of this parasite must occur in the vicinity of the scallops in order to initiate the infection in scallops.
Cheng, T.C. 1978. Larval nematodes parasitic in shellfish. Marine Fisheries Review 40: 39-42.
Bower, S.M. (2001): Synopsis of Infectious Diseases and Parasites of Commercially Exploited Shellfish: Nematode Parasitism of Scallops.
Date last revised: June 2001
Comments to Susan Bower
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