Detection of Bonamia ostreae and B. exitiosa (Haplosporidia) in Ostrea edulis from the Adriatic Sea (Italy).
The flat oyster Ostrea edulis L. is widespread along the Italian coasts. In particular, the Manfredonia Gulf (Adriatic Sea) represents an important site where natural beds subsist. Previous monitoring conducted in 1990 by light microscopy and ultrastructural studies revealed the presence of Bonamia-like microcell parasites in some flat oysters: following this observation, a new sampling of O. edulis was carried out at this location in 2007. Of 750 oysters collected, 3 showed the presence of uninucleated microcells (2 to 3 µm diameter) free or inside the haemocyte cytoplasm by cytology and histopathology. Molecular analysis confirmed that the microcells in 2 oysters were B. exitiosa, whereas in the third oyster the microcells were B. ostreae. Moreover, molecular studies were carried out to confirm the existence of Bonamia sp. in archived samples, confirming the presence of B. ostreae in the Manfredonia Gulf since 1990.