Rapid transmission of Bonamia exitiosa by cohabitation causes mortality in Ostrea angasi

Jessica Jamuna Buss, James Owen Harris, Jason Elliot Tanner, Kathryn Helen Wiltshire, Marty Robert Deveney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The haplosporidian Bonamia was first detected in Australian shellfish in 1991. Australian isolates in Ostrea angasi Sowerby, 1871 were identified as Bonamia exitiosa Hine, Cochennac and Berthe, 2001, which threatens development of an O. angasi aquaculture industry. European field data suggest that Bonamia ostreae Pichot, Comps, Tigé, Grizel and Rabouin, 1980 infections in Ostrea edulis Linnaeus, 1758 build slowly, but infection dynamics of B. exitiosa in O. angasi are unknown. We investigated B. exitiosa infection in O. angasi by cohabiting uninfected juvenile O. angasi with adults infected with B. exitiosa. Oysters were sampled at 10, 21 and 40 days after cohabitation, and B. exitiosa prevalence and intensity were assessed. Bonamia exitiosa rapidly infected and caused disease in O. angasi. Mortalities began at 12 days, with ˜50% mortality by day 21 and >85% mortality by day 40. Mortalities displayed pathology consistent with clinical B. exitiosa infection. Time to first infection is likely influenced by a combination of parasite infectivity, host exposure and host immune capacity. Host death is not required for transmission, but probably facilitates release of parasites from decaying tissue. Understanding B. exitiosa transmission informs design and interpretation of field studies and aids development of management strategies for oyster aquaculture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-237
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Fish Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • Bonamia exitiosa
  • cohabitation
  • infection dynamics
  • Ostrea angasi


Dive into the research topics of 'Rapid transmission of Bonamia exitiosa by cohabitation causes mortality in Ostrea angasi'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this