Temporal and spatial distribution of paramoebae in the water column - A pilot study

G. M. Douglas-Helders, D. P. O'Brien, B. E. McCorkell, D. Zilberg, A. Gross, J. Carson, B. F. Nowak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Amoebic gill disease is the main disease affecting the salmonid industry in Tasmania, but no information on the distribution of the causative pathogen, Neoparamoeba pemaquidensis, in the aquatic environment is available. This pilot study aimed to determine temporal and spatial distributions of paramoebae species in the water column, using an immuno-dot blot technique. Water samples were collected from inside fish cages at various depths (0.5, 5.5 and 11.0 m) in both summer and winter, as well as various distances (0, 0.5, 240, 280, 750 and 1100 m) away from the sea cage and farming site. Paramoebae densities were estimated using the most probable number technique (MPN). Temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, nitrite and nitrates, and bacterial counts were measured for each water sample. Data were analysed using a residual maximum likelihood test and significant associations between paramoebae densities and environmental factors were analysed. Results showed that densities were significantly higher in summer (P = 0.017), at 5.5 m depth (P = 0.029), and reduced to the lowest density at 1100 m away from the cage sites (P = 0.008). Bacterial counts, turbidity and temperature were found to be significantly associated with paramoebae densities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-240
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Fish Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2003


  • Density
  • Distribution
  • Paramoebae
  • Tasmania
  • Water column

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Veterinary (miscellaneous)


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