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The prevalence of Aphanomyces astaci in invasive signal crayfish from the UK and implications for native crayfish conservation

James, Joanna, Nutbeam-Tuffs, S., Cable, Joanne, Mrugala, A., Vinuela-Rodrigue, N., Petrusek, A. and Oidtmann, B. 2017. The prevalence of Aphanomyces astaci in invasive signal crayfish from the UK and implications for native crayfish conservation. Parasitology 144 (4) , pp. 411-418. 10.1017/S0031182016002419

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The crayfish plague agent, Aphanomyces astaci, has spread throughout Europe, causing a significant decline in native European crayfish. The introduction and dissemination of this pathogen is attributed to the spread of invasive North American crayfish, which can act as carriers for A. astaci. As native European crayfish often succumb to infection with A. astaci, determining the prevalence of this pathogen in non-native crayfish is vital to prioritize native crayfish populations for managed translocation. In the current study, 23 populations of invasive signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) from the UK were tested for A. astaci presence using quantitative PCR. Altogether, 13 out of 23 (56·5%) populations were found to be infected, and pathogen prevalence within infected sites varied from 3 to 80%. Microsatellite pathogen genotyping revealed that at least one UK signal crayfish population was infected with the A. astaci genotype group B, known to include virulent strains. Based on recent crayfish distribution records and the average rate of signal crayfish population dispersal, we identified one native white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) population predicted to come into contact with infected signal crayfish within 5 years. This population should be considered as a priority for translocation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pacifastacus leniusculus, crayfish plague, white-clawed crayfish, Austropotamobius pallipes, Ark Sites.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
ISSN: 0031-1820
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 January 2017
Date of Acceptance: 19 October 2016
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2021 03:39

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