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Hot Topic Article: Attenuated reproduction of Strombus gigas by an Apicomplexa: Emeriidae-like parasite in the digestive gland.

This short paper describes the widespread occurrence of a protozoan in a large and economically important Caribbean gastropod. The authors found a direct and negative correlation between parasite number and fecundity.

An intense and generalized sporozoan infection was detected in every population of the queen conch, Strombus gigas through the Caribbean. In this contribution we establish the relationship between occurrences of an Apicomplexa: Emeriidae-like organism and reproductive activity at San Andres archipelago, Colombia. Occurrence of the parasites was estimated counting the feeding stage Merozoites and cysts Sporozoites at 40× magnification. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis (NMDS) was made to correlate the parasites stages abundance with frequency of the reproductive stages. Gametogenesis and spawning were always low coinciding with high numbers of Merozoites, a positive correlation was established between parasite abundance with reabsorption and undifferentiated stages, and negative correlation was observed between parasite abundance with maturity and spawning stages. The nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) shows that gametogenesis, maturity and spawning increase as the number of parasites decrease, factor that could be threatening reproduction of S. gigas through the Caribbean.
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