Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The Rosette Agent: Monitoring a new threat in Britain's rivers

Date:
April 11, 2013
Source:
Bournemouth University
Summary:
There are more than four million anglers in the UK and the sport generates an estimated 3.5 billion for the economy. But research has uncovered a new threat that could put many of the native fish species UK anglers rely on at risk.

There are more than four million anglers in the UK and the sport generates an estimated 3.5 billion for the economy. But research by Dr Demetra Andreou and her colleagues at Bournemouth University's Centre for Conservation Ecology & Environmental Change has uncovered a new threat that could put many of the native fish species UK anglers rely on at risk.

The culprit is a single celled parasite called Sphaerothecum destruens; also known as the Rosette Agent. Dr Andreou's work has revealed that the parasite has the potential to cause widespread harm to many popular species of UK fish, including salmon, bream, carp and roach. With her results suggesting mortality levels of up to 90% in native salmon and 53% in bream, it could prove a nightmare scenario for the angling community. If the parasite got into the UK's aquaculture industry, the impact could be devastating.

"Here we have a parasite that could cause massive decline in native fish," says Dr Demetra Andreou. "Yet no one even knows which rivers it is in."

The problem, she explains, is that the fish die in small numbers, just a few each day. Such small losses in a river can easily go unnoticed as the sick individuals get picked off by predators, or the bodies get washed away.

"These parasites looked like one that had been found before in salmon in the US aquaculture industry," explains Dr Andreou.

In the US the Rosette Agent had devastated salmon populations, causing up to 90% of salmon stocks to die.

Using laboratory studies, Dr Andreou and her colleagues set about trying to determine whether the sub-type of the parasite found in the UK could cause similar harm to UK fish species.

By infecting salmon, trout, bream, carp and roach with the parasite, they were able to accurately determine the impact the parasite could have on the fish without having to account for other changes in environment such as temperature and food, which can complicate studies in the wild.

They found that UK Atlantic salmon is just as susceptible to the parasite as their American cousins and coarse fish like bream, carp and roach were also susceptible to the parasite.

Despite this, very little is known about how many UK lakes, rivers and fisheries the parasite is present in. It does not feature on a list of parasites that the Environment Agency routinely tests for, but Dr Andreou and her colleagues hope to change that.

"One of the things we are trying to do is to get it listed on the Environment Agency's Novel and Category 2 parasites. This means that when fish are moved from one water body to another, they will check for this parasite as part of the health check."

The Environment Agency is already attempting to eradicate topmouth gudgeon, an unaffected carrier of the Rosette Agent, from UK waterways. The Agency has already removed hundreds of thousands of the three-inch long fish from English rivers.

"We are also developing a way of testing for the parasite in the water," says Dr Andreou. "By filtering the water we can extract DNA onto the filter paper and using PCR, we can detect whether the parasite's genetic information is in the water. It can help to narrow down the places where we should look in the fish community for the parasite."

Dr Andreou is also now focusing on understanding what conditions are needed for the Rosette Agent to cause an outbreak. She believes that as some species of fish are less affected than others, it is important to determine how different species compositions can influence disease emergence.

For more information on the parasite visit TheRosetteAgent.org


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Bournemouth University. "The Rosette Agent: Monitoring a new threat in Britain's rivers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411075505.htm>.
Bournemouth University. (2013, April 11). The Rosette Agent: Monitoring a new threat in Britain's rivers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411075505.htm
Bournemouth University. "The Rosette Agent: Monitoring a new threat in Britain's rivers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411075505.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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