World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

White pox disease

Article Id: WHEBN0024078186
Reproduction Date:

Title: White pox disease  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Skeletal eroding band, Serratia marcescens, Corals, Deep-water coral, Hermatypic coral
Collection: Animal Diseases, Bacteria, Coral Diseases, Coral Reefs
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

White pox disease

White pox disease on Elkhorn coral

White pox disease (also "acroporid serratiosis" and "patchy necrosis"), first noted in 1996 on coral reefs near the Florida keys, is a coral disease affecting Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) throughout the Caribbean. It causes irregular white patches or blotches on the coral that result from the loss of coral tissue. These patches distinguish white pox disease from white band disease which produces a distinctive white band where the coral skeleton has been denuded. The blotches caused by this disease are also clearly differentiated from coral bleaching and scars caused by coral-eating snails.[1] It is very contagious, spreading to nearby coral.[2]

At the locations where white pox disease has been observed, it is estimated to have reduced the living tissue in elkhorn corals by 50–80%.[3] In the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), the losses of living coral are estimated to average around 88%.[1] Elkhorn coral was formerly the dominant shallow water reef-building coral throughout the Caribbean but now is listed as a threatened, due in part to disease.[4] Elkhorn coral is the first species of coral to be listed as threatened in the United States, Also due in part to this disease.[5]

Serratia marcescens

S. marcescens on an agar plate

The pathogen responsible is believed to be Serratia marcescens, a common intestinal bacterium found in humans and other animals.[1][6] This is the first time it has been linked to the death of coral.[7] The specific source of the bacteria that is killing the coral is currently unknown. As well as being a part of human and animal gut flora, S. marcescens can live in soil and water as an "free living" microbe.[7] Research is needed to find and confirm the exact source(s) of the pathogen, possible sources include sewage treatment plant effluent, marine fish feces and seabird guano. [1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.