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Pathogen Discovery

Left: Probopyrinella latreuticola is a bopyrid isopod, a family which has evolved to have a parasitic lifestyle on decapod crustaceans. This species only infests shrimp in the genus Latreutes. Photo credit: L. Jennings. Right: Lab members sampling for a stone crab pathogen survey - we love our work, day or night!

Our regular collection and observation of invertebrates allows us to notice novel pathologies. We are also regularly contacted by researchers hoping to identify a novel pathogen or host-pathogen association in wild and cultured crustaceans. Identification of novel pathogens is important in order to understand the evolutionary history and potential ecological effects of the organism in question.

In pathogen discovery we use a variety of techniques, including histology, molecular diagnostics, and electron microscopy. The combined use of these techniques allows us to visualize the pathology, pathogen phylogeny and known related species, and developmental pathways.

Currently we are examining novel pathogens in Callinectes sapidusMenippe mercenariaPanulirus argus, among others.