Genetic diversity among geographically distant isolates of Neoparamoeba perurans

Haakon Hansen, Natasha Botwright, Mathew Cook, Alex Douglas, Jamie Downes, Michael D Gallagher, Neil Ruane, Iveta Matejusova* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The present study explored the use of 2 common genetic markers, the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) and the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) to infer the relationship between geographically distant isolates of the protozoan gill parasite Neoparamoeba perurans, the agent responsible for amoebic gill disease in farmed Atlantic salmon worldwide. Present data confirmed that the ITS marker is suitable for Neoparamoeba species discrimination; however, it is not recommended as a population marker due to the presence of multiple copies of ITS within both N. perurans clonal and polycultures. On the other hand, in the partial COI gene analysed here, a low variability was observed, with 8 haplotypes recovered from N. perurans samples collected from Europe (Ireland, Norway, Scotland) and Tasmania (Australia). In Europe, the COI haplotypes which have more recently been detected in aquaculture are different to the haplotypes associated with the original gill disease emergence in Ireland in 1997 and Norway in 2006. The presence of unique COI haplotypes in different continents suggests the presence of multiple distinct reservoirs of the pathogen in both Europe and Tasmania. Isolates from additional geographical locations are required to fully understand the origins and routes for the spread of N. perurans worldwide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalDiseases of Aquatic Organisms
Issue number2
Early online date19 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

This work was sup-
ported by the Norwegian Research Council (project number
233858; and the EU Hori-
zon 2020 funded project EMBRIC (European Marine Biolog-
ical Research Infrastructure Cluster to promote the Blue
Bioeconomy; Agreement Number 654008).

Data Availability Statement

No data availability statement


  • Amoebic gill disease
  • AGD
  • Gill parasite
  • Amoeba
  • COI
  • Atlantic salmon


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