Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New parasite could be late summer beach pest

Date:
June 9, 2010
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a new sea anemone that is thought to have established itself in Swedish waters. Larvae from similar anemones causes skin problems for sea bathers in the USA.

This is a close-up of the parasite inside the American comb jellyfish, Mnemiopsis leidyi.
Credit: Erik Selander

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have discovered a new sea anemone that is thought to have established itself in Swedish waters. Larvae from similar anemones causes skin problems for sea bathers in the USA.

Researchers at the Department of Marine Ecology at the University of Gothenburg have been following the invasion of the American comb jellyfish, Mnemiopsis, for several years. They have now discovered that it contains larvae from another species: a sea anemone that lives on it as a parasite. According to the researchers, this could be the same parasite that causes skin rashes on sea bathers in the USA.

Causes skin irritation

The sea anemone, which the Gothenburg researchers believe to have identified through DNA analysis as Edwardsiella, is common in the comb jellyfish's natural environment in the West Atlantic, but has not previously been found in Swedish waters or anywhere else that the comb jellyfish has spread to. It is the sea anemone's larvae which live as parasites on the jellyfish, and which cause skin irritation in humans -- and these may be problematic for Swedish sea bathers too.

Further genetic analysis

"The American variety of the sea anemone causes a skin complaint known as sea bather's eruption, which doesn't generally require treatment, but takes the form of quite a nasty rash that lasts for a few days," says researcher Erik Selander. "But the anemone we have found is confusingly similar to a Swedish anemone called Edwardsiella carnea, and we won't know which of the two species it is, or whether there actually are two species involved, until we have carried out further genetic analysis.

Isolated cases

"If it is the American Edwardsiella that has come here, we could see isolated cases of sea bather's eruption here in Sweden too as we move towards autumn," believes Selander.

September peak

"However, we haven't seen the extreme numbers of the species in Swedish waters that are present on the American east coast. The anemone larvae also peak in September, after the high season for Swedish bathers."

Not entirely bad

Erik Selander and his colleagues recorded the parasite during two separate surveys in 2007 and 2008. In the latter, parasite numbers had increased to 40 per of the comb jellyfish numbers. From an ecological point of view, the finding is therefore not an entirely bad thing.

Can suppress invading jellyfish

"The explosive increase in numbers of comb jellyfish here and in the Black Sea, for example, is thought to be down to the fact that the jellyfish has fewer natural predators here than in its natural environment," says Selander. "It is therefore particularly exciting to see what will happen now that a natural predator has shown up. Given that there are so many parasites, it is hoped that they can help suppress the invasion of the jellyfish somewhat, as it seems to do on the other side of the Atlantic."

The article Parasitic anemone infects the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi in the North East Atlantic was published in the May edition of the journal Biological Invasions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "New parasite could be late summer beach pest." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609122840.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2010, June 9). New parasite could be late summer beach pest. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609122840.htm
University of Gothenburg. "New parasite could be late summer beach pest." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609122840.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins