The effectiveness of disinfectant and steam exposure treatments to prevent the spread of the highly invasive killer shrimp, Dikerogammarus villosus

Stephanie J. Bradbeer, Neil E. Coughlan, Ross N. Cuthbert, Kate Crane, Jaimie T.A. Dick, Joe M. Caffrey, Frances E. Lucy, Trevor Renals, Eithne Davis, Daniel A. Warren, Benjamin Pile, Claire Quinn, Alison M. Dunn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Biosecurity protocols designed to prevent the spread of invasive alien species (IAS) are now an essential aspect of IAS management. However, the effectiveness of various biosecurity treatments requires further exploration. Killer shrimp, Dikerogammarus villosus, a notoriously high impact and ecosystem destabilising invader, has rapidly spread across Europe, and is of concern to invade Northern America. In this study, we examine the effectiveness of three commonly used, broad-spectrum disinfectants to cause mortality of D. villosus: Virasure Aquatic, Virkon Aquatic, and Virkon S. Immersion and spray treatments of 1%, 2% and 4% disinfectant solutions were examined for applications of up to 300 secs immersion and for up to ten consecutive sprays. Furthermore, we assessed the effectiveness of steam (≥100 °C) treatments for up to 120 secs. For all disinfectants, immersion in 1% solutions caused 100% mortality at ≥120 secs. At higher concentrations, shorter immersion times caused complete mortality: 60 and 15 secs for 2% and 4% solutions, respectively. Five sprays of 2% and 4% solutions resulted in 100% mortality, for all disinfectants. Direct steam exposure was highly effective, with complete D. villosus mortality occurring at ≥10 secs. Overall, brief exposure to broad-spectrum disinfectants and direct steam could be used to limit D. villosus spread.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1919
Number of pages7
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 05 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
S.J.B. gratefully acknowledges support and funding from Natural Environment Research Council, the Environment Agency and South West Water (Grant ref: NE/N008391/1). SJB also wishes to thank Grafham Water and Cardiff Bay Authority for their assistance in specimen collection. N.E.C., J.T.A.D., J.M.C., F.E.L. and E.D. gratefully acknowledge support from the Irish Environmental Protection Agency project “Prevention, control and eradication of invasive alien species” (2015-NC-MS-4). J.T.A.D. also acknowledges funding received from NERC. We graciously thank Dr Matthijs Metsellar at Fish Vet Group for providing Virasure Aquatic.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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