Disease, parasite, and commensal prevalences for blue crab Callinectes sapidus at shedding facilities in Louisiana, USA

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Blue crab diseases, parasites, and commensals are not well studied in the Gulf of Mexico, and their prevalence rates have only been sporadically determined. Commercial soft shell shedding facilities in Louisiana experience high mortality rates of pre-molt crabs, and some of these deaths may be attributable to diseases or parasites. During the active shedding season in 2013, we determined the prevalence of shell disease, Vibrio spp., Lagenophrys callinectes, and Hematodinium perezi at 4 commercial shedding facilities along the Louisiana coast. We also detected Ameson michaelis and reo-like virus infections. Shell disease was moderately prevalent at rates above 50% and varied by shedding facility, collection month, and crab size. Vibrio spp. bacteria were prevalent in the hemolymph of 37% of the pre-molt crabs. Lagenophrys callinectes was highly prevalent in the pre-molt crabs, but because it is a commensal species, it may not cause high mortality rates. Hematodinium perezi was absent in all pre-molt crabs.

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Diseases of aquatic organisms

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