Since Dermo has been partially cultured since the 1960s, there is a wealth of information on physiological needs, life cycle stages, and growth characterisitics. (Ray, 1966)
For Dermo, temperature and salinity are known to be the dominant environmental variables dictating the suvival prevalence, intensity, and influence of the host parasite interaction (Soniat 1985; Soniat and Gauthier 1989; Chu and La Peyre 1993)
Intensity and persistence of Dermo exhibits seasonal cycles. Increases throughout summer and a peak in late summer /early fall coinciding with the seasonal fluctuations in temperature. Mortalities are usually seen in late summer early fall (Ford and Tripp, 1996).
Mackin Scale 0 1 2 3 4 5 Uninfected --------Heavy infection Light infections (1 or 2) seen microscopically, counting spores 3 visible to naked eye Heavier infections (4 and 5), majority of tissue will appear blue black in color (Mackin, 1952; Markey, 2007)
Dermo first appeared in Wellfleet around the same time as MSX. Mid to late 70sish. (Anonymous, pers com)
It is generally accepted that cold conditions reduce the impact of, and unless there is extensive global climate warming, these northern extensions are not likely to remain (Eastern Biological Review Team, 2007)
(Ewart and Ford, 1993)
Future of Dermo in Wellfleet Harbor/ Solutions?
As global warming increases so will temperature optimizing conditions for a Dermo outbreak
Reducing the (3 in.) legal limit for aquaculture raised animals will reduce numbers of susceptible animals
No cure for Dermo so removal of infected animals is the best management practice
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