Proteus or Pseudomonas Bacterial Septicaemia of Crayfish


Category 3 (Host Not in Canada)

Common, generally accepted names of the organism or disease agent

Bacterial septicaemia.

Scientific name or taxonomic affiliation

Proteus vulgaris, Proteus morganii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas putida and Pseudomonas fluorescens.

Geographic distribution

Europe, but probably ubiquitous.

Host species

Procambarus clarkii, Orconectes limnosus and three European crayfish

Impact on the host

Lethargy, slow responses, limb tremor, death. Infection usually through wounds or possibly orally.

Diagnostic techniques

Gross Observations: Few gross clinical signs until infection well developed then lethargy, slow responses, limb tremor.

Culture: Bacteria isolated from haemolymph or possibly muscle tissue.

Methods of control

Infection probably results from poor husbandry. No treatment specified.


Alderman, D.J. and J.L. Polglase. 1988. Pathogens, parasites and commensals. In: D.M. Holdrich and R.S. Lowery (eds.). Freshwater Crayfish ­ Biology, Management and Exploitation. Timber Press, OR., p. 168-171.

Huner J.V. and E.E. Brown. 1985. Crustacean and Mollusk Aquaculture in the U.S. AVI Publishing, Westport, CT. 476 p.

Vey, A., N. Boemare and C. Vago. 1975. Recherches sur les maladies bacteriennes de l'ecrevisse Austropotamobius pallipes Lereboullet. In: J.W. Avault (ed.), Freshwater Crayfish, Papers from the Second International Symposium on Freshwater Crayfish, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A. 1974. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, pp. 287-297.

Citation Information

Bower, S.M., McGladdery, S.E., Price, I.M. (1994): Synopsis of Infectious Diseases and Parasites of Commercially Exploited Shellfish: Proteus or Pseudomonas Bacterial Septicaemia of Crayfish.

Date last revised: Fall 1994
Comments to Susan Bower

Date modified: