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Pathology of tissue loss (white syndrome) in Acropora sp. corals from the Central Pacific

September 28, 2011

We performed histological examination of 69 samples of Acropora sp. manifesting different types of tissue loss (Acropora White Syndrome-AWS) from Hawaii, Johnston Atoll and American Samoa between 2002 and 2006. Gross lesions of tissue loss were observed and classified as diffuse acute, diffuse subacute, and focal to multifocal acute to subacute. Corals with acute tissue loss manifested microscopic evidence of necrosis sometimes associated with ciliates, helminths, fungi, algae, sponges, or cyanobacteria whereas those with subacute tissue loss manifested mainly wound repair. Gross lesions of AWS have multiple different changes at the microscopic level some of which involve various microorganisms and metazoa. Elucidating this disease will require, among other things, monitoring lesions over time to determine the pathogenesis of AWS and the potential role of tissue-associated microorganisms in the genesis of tissue loss. Attempts to experimentally induce AWS should include microscopic examination of tissues to ensure that potentially causative microorganisms associated with gross lesion are not overlooked.

Publication Year 2011
Title Pathology of tissue loss (white syndrome) in Acropora sp. corals from the Central Pacific
DOI 10.1016/j.jip.2011.03.009
Authors Thierry M. Work, Greta S. Aeby
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Index ID 70004472
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Wildlife Health Center