EAFP, Prague 2009 - Myxozoan Special session

Research approaches to studying climate change effects on myxozoan disease

While predictions for the effects of climate change on myxozoan disease will be similar to those developed for other fish pathogens, the complexity of myxozoan life cycles introduces unique considerations.

The goals of this session were to begin discussion on current research approaches that can be applied to studying and making predictions of changing myxozoan disease patterns and to develop collaborative links and pre-proposal outlines for specific funding opportunities. Several speakers presented topics to stimulate discussion. Here are summaries, with pdf files available for download.

1. Overview - Jerri Bartholomew outlined the goals of the session and addressed some of the alterations that are expected as a result of climate change. She discussed how predicting disease patterns for myxozoans differs from other fish pathogens. (download presentation)

2. Climate Change and Host-Parasite Interactions - Ariadna Sitjà-Bobadilla introduced what we need to know to predict how temperature changes will affect myxozoan disease and focused on parameters of the fish immune response that will be affected by changes in temperature, salinity and UV-B radiation. (download)

3. What Methodologies are Available? - Jerri Bartholomew discussed the importance of identifying research questions and determining what should, or can be monitored. An overview of methodologies currently used and and the limitations of these in developing predictions was presented. (download)

4. What Models are Available? - David Morris addressed how we need to integrate the various databases that predict changes in temperature, water flow, sedimentation etc to develop models for disease effects and the limitations we face because of the lack of long-term datasets. (download)

Another question addressed in this talk is what myxozoans would be appropriate models for study (e.g. those that have sufficient data and geographic distributions on the edges of the parasite's current temperature range). Two additional presentations, by Thomas Wahli (Switzerland) and Simon Jones (Canada) illustrated how climate change could affect Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae infections in fish.

Discussion following these presentations highlighted the need for uniformly collect long-term data that have been analyzed using standard methodologies, for obtaining information on basic aspects of invertebrate hosts, and for deciphering many life cycles still unknown. In addition, the difficulties of separating or differentiating among the many different factors concurrently affecting both hosts and parasites and of obtaining information from experimental models was pointed out.

Several posters are also available to download:

Gorgoglione & Sommerville - Methods for the quantitative evaluation of myxosporean parasite burden in the gadoid urinary tract

Morris - Myxosporean binucleate stages within freshwater oligochaetes

Morris - Does endogenous budding result in the formation of ‘new’ myxosporean cells?

Morris - Implications of hyperparasitism for studies into the myxosporean infections of oligochaetes

October 2009


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