Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

SPCMSC Research Marine Biologist James Evans, Biologist Julie Voelschow, and Research Microbiologist Christina Kellogg, along with collaborators from the University of South Florida and Cornell University, published a study titled “Evaluation of in vitro treatments against the causative agent of Diadema antillarum scuticociliatosis (DaSc).”

Image of a single-celled organism with small bright spots and thin hairlike structures against a dark green background.
The marine scuticociliate responsible for the mass die-off of Diadema antillarum in 2022. 

Sea urchins are important components of healthy coral reefs where they help keep space clear for corals to grow by grazing on fast-growing algae. Yet mass die-offs of urchins in the genus Diadema have been reported across the globe, starting in 2022. The pathogen responsible for these die-offs has been identified as a marine scuticociliate, a type of single-celled protist. Using cultures of this pathogen, Evans et al. investigated the effects of various compounds and identified two that were fast-acting against the ciliate (effective within 15 minutes) in vitro. These compounds could represent possible treatments for the disease; however, their efficacy in treating urchins infected with the scuticociliate remains to be tested. The full study, published in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, is available here:

Get Our News

These items are in the RSS feed format (Really Simple Syndication) based on categories such as topics, locations, and more. You can install and RSS reader browser extension, software, or use a third-party service to receive immediate news updates depending on the feed that you have added. If you click the feed links below, they may look strange because they are simply XML code. An RSS reader can easily read this code and push out a notification to you when something new is posted to our site.