Cucumispora ornata n. sp. (Fungi: Microsporidia) infecting invasive ‘demon shrimp’ (Dikerogammarus haemobaphes) in the United Kingdom

Jamie Bojko, Alison Dunn, Paul Stebbing, Stuart Ross, Rose Kerr, Grant Stentiford

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Dikerogammarus haemobaphes, the ‘demon shrimp’, is an amphipod native to the Ponto-Caspian region.
    This species invaded the UK in 2012 and has become widely established. Dikerogammarus haemobaphes
    has the potential to introduce non-native pathogens into the UK, creating a potential threat to native
    fauna. This study describes a novel species of microsporidian parasite infecting 72.8% of invasive D. haemobaphes
    located in the River Trent, UK. The microsporidium infection was systemic throughout the
    host; mainly targeting the sarcolemma of muscle tissues. Electron microscopy revealed this parasite to
    be diplokaryotic and have 7–9 turns of the polar filament. The microsporidium is placed into the
    ‘Cucumispora’ genus based on host histopathology, fine detail parasite ultrastructure, a highly similar
    life-cycle and SSU rDNA sequence phylogeny. Using this data this novel microsporidian species is named
    Cucumispora ornata, where ‘ornata’ refers to the external beading present on the mature spore stage of
    this organism. Alongside a taxonomic discussion, the presence of a novel Cucumispora sp. in the United
    Kingdom is discussed and related to the potential control of invasive Dikerogammarus spp. in the UK
    and the health of native species which may come into contact with this parasite.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)22-30
    JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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