Spirorchiidiasis in marine turtles: the current state of knowledge

Chapman, Phoebe A., Cribb, Thomas H., Flint, Mark, Traub, Rebecca J., Blair, David, Kyaw-Tanner, Myat T., and Mills, Paul C. (2019) Spirorchiidiasis in marine turtles: the current state of knowledge. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 133. pp. 217-245.

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Abstract

Blood flukes of the family Spirorchiidae are important disease agents in marine turtles. The family is near cosmopolitan in distribution. Twenty-nine marine species across 10 genera are currently recognized, but taxonomic problems remain and it is likely that more species will be discovered. Spirorchiids infect the circulatory system, where they and their eggs cause a range of inflammatory lesions. Infection is sometimes implicated in the death of the turtle. In some regions, prevalence in stranded turtles is close to 100%. Knowledge of life cycles, important for control and epidemiological studies, has proven elusive until recently, when the first intermediate host identifications were made. Recent molecular studies of eggs and adult worms indicate that a considerable level of intrageneric and intraspecific diversity exists. The characterization of this diversity is likely to be of importance in exploring parasite taxonomy and ecology, unravelling life cycles, identifying the differential pathogenicity of genotypes and species, and developing antemortem diagnostic tools, all of which are major priorities for future spirorchiid research. Diagnosis to date has been reliant on copromicroscopy or necropsy, which both have significant limitations. The current lack of reliable antemortem diagnostic options is a roadblock to determining the true prevalence and epidemiology of spirorchiidiasis and the development of effective treatment regimes.

Item ID: 57850
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1616-1580
Keywords: blood fluke; spirorchiid; Spirorchiidiasis; marine turtle
Copyright Information: © Inter-Research 2019
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Linkage Grant LP110100569
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2019 00:11
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070708 Veterinary Parasitology @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 70%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960407 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Marine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 30%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 20%
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