University Of Tasmania

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Neoparamoeba perurans n. sp., an agent of amoebic gill disease of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 20:17 authored by Young, ND, Crosbie, PBB, Mark AdamsMark Adams, Barbara NowakBarbara Nowak, Morrison, RN
Amoebic gill disease (AGD) is a potentially fatal disease of some marine fish. Two amphizoic amoebae Neoparamoeba pemaquidensis and Neoparamoeba branchiphila have been cultured from AGD-affected fish, yet it is not known if one or both are aetiological agents. Here, we PCR amplified the 18S rRNA gene of non-cultured, gill-derived (NCGD) amoebae from AGD-affected Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) using N. pemaquidensis and N. branchiphila-specific oligonucleotides. Variability in PCR amplification led to comparisons of 18S rRNA and 28S rRNA gene sequences from NCGD and clonal cultured, gill-derived (CCGD) N. pemaquidensis and N. branchiphila. Phylogenetic analyses inferred from either 18S or 28S rRNA gene sequences unambiguously segregated a lineage consisting of NCGD amoebae from other members of the genus Neoparamoeba. Species-specific oligonucleotide probes that hybridise 18S rRNA were designed, validated and used to probe gill tissue from AGD-affected Atlantic salmon. The NCGD amoebae-specific probe bound AGD-associated amoebae while neither N. pemaquidensis nor N. branchiphila were associated with AGD-lesions. Together, these data indicate that NCGD amoebae are a new species, designated Neoparamoeba perurans n.sp. and this is the predominant aetiological agent of AGD of Atlantic salmon cultured in Tasmania, Australia.


Publication title

International Journal for Parasitology










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Elsevier Ltd

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified