Fungal Infections in Fishes and Aquatic Invertebrates

A special issue of Journal of Fungi (ISSN 2309-608X). This special issue belongs to the section "Fungal Pathogenesis and Disease Control".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2023) | Viewed by 10151

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Retired, Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95618, USA
Interests: infectious and non-infectious diseases of aquatic organisms; emergent disease; ecology of aquatic animal disease
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fungi and fungus-like organisms such as oomycetes and the protistan Ichthyophonus sp. are common pathogens of wild and cultured fishes and aquatic invertebrates that can result in severe disease and increased mortality in affected populations, further resulting in significant financial losses to aquaculturists and loss of normal homeostasis in impacted ecosystems. Furthermore, there has recently been an increased incidence of fungal diseases in aquatic organisms, whereas several mycotic diseases can be considered emergent. In contrast, the composition and importance of the fungal microbiome (mycobiome) in aquatic organisms has generally been ignored, and requires further detailed investigation. Therefore, the objective of this Special Issue is to document the most current information on the fungal pathogens affecting fishes and aquatic invertebrates, including the imperfect fungi, dematiaceous fungi, euendolithic fungi and fungal pathogens of corals, microsporidia, and the fungal-like oomycetes and protistans such as Ichthyophonus sp. (but not restricted to these pathogens), and the fungi composing the normal mycobiome of aquatic organisms. This documentation can include basic and applied research focused on the biology and taxonomy of the organism, pathogenesis of disease, host response to disease, diagnostic methodologies, emergent disease, zoonotic disease, the mycobiome, and detailed reviews.

Dr. Joseph Matthew Groff
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • fish and aquatic invertebrates
  • coral
  • mycoses
  • emergent disease
  • zoonotic disease
  • imperfect fungi
  • dematiaceous fungi
  • euendolithic fungi
  • microsporidia
  • oomycetes
  • Ichthyophonus
  • mycobiome

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 2943 KiB  
Article
Immunomodulatory Potency of Eclipta alba (Bhringaraj) Leaf Extract in Heteropneustes fossilis against Oomycete Pathogen, Aphanomyces invadans
by Vikash Kumar, Basanta Kumar Das, Himanshu Sekhar Swain, Hemanta Chowdhury, Suvra Roy, Asit Kumar Bera, Ramesh Chandra Malick and Bijay Kumar Behera
J. Fungi 2023, 9(2), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9020142 - 21 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1660
Abstract
Aphanomyces invadans is an aquatic oomycete pathogen and the causative agent of epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) in fresh and brackish water fish, which is responsible for severe mortalities and economic losses in aquaculture. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop anti-infective strategies [...] Read more.
Aphanomyces invadans is an aquatic oomycete pathogen and the causative agent of epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) in fresh and brackish water fish, which is responsible for severe mortalities and economic losses in aquaculture. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop anti-infective strategies to control EUS. An Oomycetes, a fungus-like eukaryotic microorganism, and a susceptible species, i.e., Heteropneustes fossilis, are used to establish whether an Eclipta alba leaf extract is effective against the EUS-causing A. invadans. We found that treatment with methanolic leaf extract, at concentrations between 50–100 ppm (T4–T6), protects the H. fossilis fingerlings against A. invadans infection. These optimum concentrations induced anti-stress and antioxidative response in fish, marked by a significant decrease in cortisol and elevated levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) levels in treated animals, as compared with the controls. We further demonstrated that the A. invadans-protective effect of methanolic leaf extract was caused by its immunomodulatory effect and is linked to the enhanced survival of fingerlings. The analysis of non-specific and specific immune factors confirms that methanolic leaf extract-induced HSP70, HSP90 and IgM levels mediate the survival of H. fossilis fingerlings against A. invadans infection. Taken together, our study provides evidence that the generation of anti-stress and antioxidative responses, as well as humoral immunity, may play a role in protecting H. fossilis fingerlings against A. invadans infection. It is probable that E. alba methanolic leaf extract treatment might become part of a holistic strategy to control EUS in fish species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infections in Fishes and Aquatic Invertebrates)
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20 pages, 3795 KiB  
Article
Mucochytrium quahogii (=QPX) Is a Commensal, Opportunistic Pathogen of the Hard Clam (Mercenaria mercenaria): Evidence and Implications for QPX Disease Management
by Sabrina Geraci-Yee, Jackie L. Collier and Bassem Allam
J. Fungi 2022, 8(11), 1128; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8111128 - 26 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1168
Abstract
Mucochytrium quahogii, commonly known as QPX (Quahog Parasite Unknown), is the causative agent of QPX disease in hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria), but poor understanding of the relationship between host and pathogen has hindered effective management. To address this gap in [...] Read more.
Mucochytrium quahogii, commonly known as QPX (Quahog Parasite Unknown), is the causative agent of QPX disease in hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria), but poor understanding of the relationship between host and pathogen has hindered effective management. To address this gap in knowledge, we conducted a two-year study quantifying the distribution and abundance of M. quahogii in hard clam tissue, pallial fluid, and the environment. M. quahogii was broadly distributed in clams and the environment, in areas with and without a known history of QPX disease. M. quahogii in clams was not strongly related to M. quahogii in the environment. M. quahogii was always present in either the tissue or pallial fluid of each clam, with an inverse relationship between the abundance in the two anatomical locations. This study suggests that the sediment–water interface and clam pallial fluid are environmental reservoirs of M. quahogii and that there is a host-specific relationship between M. quahogii and the hard clam, supporting its classification as a commensal, opportunistic pathogen. There appears to be minimal risk of spreading QPX disease to naïve clam populations because M. quahogii is already present and does not appear to be causing disease in hard clam populations in locations unfavorable for pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infections in Fishes and Aquatic Invertebrates)
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16 pages, 6168 KiB  
Article
Resistance to Crayfish Plague: Assessing the Response of Native Iberian Populations of the White-Clawed Freshwater Crayfish
by María Martínez-Ríos, Sara Lapesa-Lázaro, Jokin Larumbe-Arricibita, Fernando Alonso-Gutiérrez, Francisco Javier Galindo-Parrila, Laura Martín-Torrijos and Javier Diéguez-Uribeondo
J. Fungi 2022, 8(4), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8040342 - 25 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1886
Abstract
Crayfish plague, caused by the oomycete pathogen Aphanomyces astaci, is one of the most devastating of the emerging infectious diseases. This disease is responsible for the decline of native European and Asian freshwater crayfish populations. Over the last few decades, some European [...] Read more.
Crayfish plague, caused by the oomycete pathogen Aphanomyces astaci, is one of the most devastating of the emerging infectious diseases. This disease is responsible for the decline of native European and Asian freshwater crayfish populations. Over the last few decades, some European crayfish populations were reported to display partial to total resistance to the disease. The immune response in these cases was similar to that exhibited by the natural carriers of the pathogen, North American freshwater crayfish, e.g., weak-to-strong melanization of colonizing hyphae. We tested the degree of resistance displayed by 29 native Iberian populations of Austropotamobius pallipes that were challenged by zoospores of the pathogen. We measured the following parameters: (i) mean survival time, (ii) cumulative mortality, and (iii) immune response, and found that the total cumulative mortality of all the challenged populations was 100%. The integration of the results from these parameters did not allow us to find differences in resistance towards A. astaci among the northern and central populations of the Iberian Peninsula. However, in the southern populations, we could identify four distinct population responses based on an evaluation of a GLM analysis. In the first case, the similar response could be explained by the effect of a pathogen strain with a lower-than-expected virulence, and/or an actual increase in resistance. In the Southern populations, these differences appear to be the consequence of either whole population or individual resistance. Individuals that survived for a longer period than the others showed a stronger immune response, i.e., presence of partially or fully melanized hyphae, which is similar to that of North American crayfish species. This might be the consequence of different mechanisms of resistance or/and tolerance towards A. astaci. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infections in Fishes and Aquatic Invertebrates)
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11 pages, 1471 KiB  
Article
Experimental Transmission of the Yeast, Metschnikowia bicuspidata, in the Chinese Mitten Crab, Eriocheir sinensis
by Hongbo Jiang, Jie Bao, Gangnan Cao, Yuenan Xing, Chengcheng Feng, Qingbiao Hu, Xiaodong Li and Qijun Chen
J. Fungi 2022, 8(2), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8020210 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1762
Abstract
The Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheirsinensis, is an important farmed crustacean species in China, outranking other farmed crabs in yield and economic importance. An infection called “milky disease”, caused by the yeast, Metschnikowiabicuspidata, has emerged in E. sinensis farms in [...] Read more.
The Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheirsinensis, is an important farmed crustacean species in China, outranking other farmed crabs in yield and economic importance. An infection called “milky disease”, caused by the yeast, Metschnikowiabicuspidata, has emerged in E. sinensis farms in northeast China and has caused progressive economic losses. The diseased crabs present with opaque, whitish muscles and milky hemolymph. Currently, there are no effective drugs to treat the infection. Clarifying the transmission route of M. bicuspidata would help to treat and prevent the disease. We investigated the effects of three different M. bicuspidata infection methods (feeding, immersion, and cohabitation) on E. sinensis. All three infection methods led to a high infection rate in healthy crabs. After 35 d, the infection rate was 76.7%, 66.7%, and 53.3% in the feeding, immersion, and cohabitation groups, respectively. Diseased crabs exhibited the typical symptom of hemolymph emulsification, with a high pathogen load of M. bicuspidata. The yeast was not detected in the oocytes of infected crabs. Fertilized embryos, zoea larvae, and megalopae of infected ovigerous crabs tested negative for yeast, indicating that direct transmission from mother to offspring does not occur. Our results highlight avenues for the prevention and control of this yeast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infections in Fishes and Aquatic Invertebrates)
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Review

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19 pages, 1908 KiB  
Review
Emergence of the Fungal Rosette Agent in the World: Current Risk to Fish Biodiversity and Aquaculture
by Rodolphe Elie Gozlan and Marine Combe
J. Fungi 2023, 9(4), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9040426 - 29 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1950
Abstract
The emergence of pathogenic fungi is a major and rapidly growing problem (7% increase) that affects human and animal health, ecosystems, food security, and the economy worldwide. The Dermocystida group in particular has emerged relatively recently and includes species that affect both humans [...] Read more.
The emergence of pathogenic fungi is a major and rapidly growing problem (7% increase) that affects human and animal health, ecosystems, food security, and the economy worldwide. The Dermocystida group in particular has emerged relatively recently and includes species that affect both humans and animals. Within this group, one species in particular, Sphareothecum destruens, also known as the rosette agent, represents a major risk to global aquatic biodiversity and aquaculture, and has caused severe declines in wild fish populations in Europe and large losses in salmon farms in the USA. It is a species that has been associated with a healthy carrier for millions of years, but in recent decades, the host has managed to invade parts of Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Europe, and North Africa. In order to better understand the emergence of this new disease, for the first time, we have synthesized current knowledge on the distribution, detection, and prevalence of S. destruens, as well as the associated mortality curves, and the potential economic impact in countries where the healthy carrier has been introduced. Finally, we propose solutions and perspectives to manage and mitigate the emergence of this fungus in countries where it has been introduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infections in Fishes and Aquatic Invertebrates)
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