Aggregations or blooms of jellyfish are increasingly problematic for the aquaculture industry. Jellyfishassociated mass mortalities of sea-caged fish are most often caused by swarms of oceanic species like Pelagia noctiluca. These relatively large jellyfish get carried by tides and currents onto fish cages, causing them to break up into pathogenic nematocyst-containing pieces that are capable of passing through the mesh of the cages. The main effect on fish is gill damage leading to respiratory distress, but the lesions may also be compounded by bacterial infection, Tenacibaculum maritimum being one of the pathogens involved. In our previous study, we highlighted the ability of the jellyfish Phialella quadrata to carry this important pathogen. However, since these small jellyfish were collected around sea-cages of infected salmon, it was not possible to determine if the jellyfish or the fish themselves were the original source of the bacteria. Results of the current study demonstrate that these filamentous bacteria are present on the mouth of P. noctiluca that had no previous contact with farmed fish. These new results highlight the fact that some Cnidarian species harbour T. maritimum and suggest that jellyfishmight be a natural host for these bacteria whose environmental reservoir has not yet been determined.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science