Parasite detection in the ornamental fish trade using environmental DNA

Trujillo-González, Alejandro, Edmunds, R. C., Becker, J. A., and Hutson, K. S. (2019) Parasite detection in the ornamental fish trade using environmental DNA. Scientific Reports, 9. 5173.

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Effective border control relies on stringent biosecurity protocols to detect and prevent introductions of exotic pests and diseases. Detection of pathogens and parasites in the live ornamental fish trade using environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques has the potential to improve current biosecurity practices. We examined water samples from 11 target consignments (cyprinids susceptible to Dactylogyrus spp. infections) and seven non-target fish consignments (non-cyprinids, not susceptible to Dactylogyrus spp. infections) imported from Southeast Asia to Australia for the presence of eDNA from five Dactylogyrus species (Monogenea: Dactylogyridae). A four-step predictive framework was used to predict putative positive and putative negative detections from quantitative PCR assays. Both target and non-target consignments were positive for Dactylogyrus spp. eDNA as confirmed by Sanger sequencing. Positive detections for Dactylogyrus spp. eDNA in non-target fish consignments demonstrates the possibility of source water contamination, limiting the applicability of eDNA screening methods at border control. This study suggests that screening for parasite eDNA within ornamental fish consignments should be tested during pre-export quarantine periods to avoid false positive detections at border control. Lastly, the proposed predictive framework has a broad utility for minimizing false positive and false negative eDNA detections of aquatic organisms.

Item ID: 58023
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Keywords: environmental DNA; eDNA; biosecurity; qPCR; parasite; molecular genetics
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access: this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Funders: Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), The University of Sydney, James Cook University
Projects and Grants: FRDC Project no.2014/001
Research Data:
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2019 09:12
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410202 Biosecurity science and invasive species ecology @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310599 Genetics not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960401 Border Biosecurity (incl. Quarantine and Inspection) @ 100%
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