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First record of black band disease in the Hawaiian archipelago: response, outbreak, status, virulence, and a method of treatment

April 10, 2015

A high number of coral colonies, Montipora spp., with progressive tissue loss were reported from the north shore of Kaua‘i by a member of the Eyes of the Reef volunteer reporting network. The disease has a distinct lesion (semi-circular pattern of tissue loss with an adjacent dark band) that was first observed in Hanalei Bay, Kaua‘i in 2004. The disease, initially termedMontipora banded tissue loss, appeared grossly similar to black band disease (BBD), which affects corals worldwide. Following the initial report, a rapid response was initiated as outlined in Hawai‘i’s rapid response contingency plan to determine outbreak status and investigate the disease. Our study identified the three dominant bacterial constituents indicative of BBD (filamentous cyanobacteria, sulfate-reducing bacteria, sulfide-oxidizing bacteria) in coral disease lesions from Kaua‘i, which provided the first evidence of BBD in the Hawaiian archipelago. A rapid survey at the alleged outbreak site found disease to affect 6-7% of the montiporids, which is higher than a prior prevalence of less than 1% measured on Kaua‘i in 2004, indicative of an epizootic. Tagged colonies with BBD had an average rate of tissue loss of 5.7 cm2/day over a two-month period. Treatment of diseased colonies with a double band of marine epoxy, mixed with chlorine powder, effectively reduced colony mortality. Within two months, treated colonies lost an average of 30% less tissue compared to untreated controls.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2015
Title First record of black band disease in the Hawaiian archipelago: response, outbreak, status, virulence, and a method of treatment
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0120853
Authors Greta S. Aeby, Thierry M. Work, Christina M. Runyon, Amanda Shore-Maggio, Blake Ushijima, Patrick Videau, Silvia Beurmann, Sean M. Callahan
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title PLoS ONE
Index ID 70145818
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Wildlife Health Center

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