Pathogens and Parasites

Hutson, Kate S., and Cain, Kenneth D. (2019) Pathogens and Parasites. In: Lucas, John S., and Southgate, Paul C., (eds.) Aquaculture: farming aquatic animals and plants. Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, NJ, USA, pp. 217-246.

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There is an enormous diversity of pathogens and parasites that can infect aquatic organisms. Pathogens, as described here are infectious organisms (viruses, bacteria, and fungi) that cause disease and will harm the host or cell. Parasites may be considered pathogens if they cause disease in a host species, but a parasite may live on or within a host for all or part of its life but not cause clinical disease. Conditions associated with intensive monoculture of aquatic animals mean that only a limited diversity of disease causing agents can successfully propagate, proliferate and harm aquaculture stock. Host specificity is arguably the most important property of a pathogen or parasite because it can determine whether it has the potential to become established in aquaculture, although there is potential for the emergence of new pathogens and parasitic diseases or for free‐living organisms to switch to a parasitic life style. Aquaculture systems and biosecurity practices impact pathogen and parasite diversity and virulence by either promoting exponential growth or possibly eliminating conditions necessary for some species to survive. Disease management strategies are most effective if host contact with pathogens can be avoided. However, in many aquaculture systems fish are naturally exposed to endemic pathogens and other strategies aimed at preventing disease (e.g. vaccination) or reactionary methods (i.e. treatments) are needed to minimise the effects of specific pathogens. This chapter provides an introduction to the diversity of infectious biological agents commonly encountered when farming aquatic animals and highlights specific and broader impacts of each group. Specific case studies are developed for particularly harmful pathogens and parasites in aquatic fish and invertebrates. Current approaches to reducing infection intensities are outlined for each group and potential human diseases associated with the production of aquatic animals are also considered. Plants grown in aquaponics systems are subject to many of the same pests and diseases that affect food crops which have been well documented in other sources, thus strategies to disease management are highlighted herein. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) provides a current list of notifiable diseases (diseases that are required by law to be reported to government authorities) for molluscs, crustaceans and fish on their website and there are considerable economic costs attributable to a range of key parasite and pathogens in the world’s major marine and brackish water aquaculture production industries (e.g. Shinn et al., 2015). There are several text books dedicated specifically to aquatic animal diseases and disorders where further information can be sourced.

Item ID: 54362
Item Type: Book Chapter (Teaching Material)
ISBN: 978-1-119-23086-1
Keywords: aquaculture, disease, aquatic animal health, parasites, pathogens, fish health, fish farming
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2020 23:57
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070404 Fish Pests and Diseases @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070401 Aquaculture @ 50%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8301 Fisheries - Aquaculture > 830102 Aquaculture Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 80%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8301 Fisheries - Aquaculture > 830199 Fisheries - Aquaculture not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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