• Identification of a bacterial pathogen associated with Porites white patch syndrome in the Western Indian Ocean

      Séré, Mathieu G.; Chabanet, Pascale; Quod, Jean-Pascal; Sweet, Michael J.; Tortosa, Pablo; Schleyer, Michael; University of Derby; Agence pour la Recherche et la Valorisation Marines (ARVAM); Ste Clotilde Reunion Island France; Unité Mixte de Recherche “Processus Infectieux en Milieu Insulaire Tropical” (UMR PIMIT); Université de La Réunion; Inserm1187; CNRS9192, IRD249; Plateforme de Recherche CYROI; 2 rue Maxime Rivière 97490 Ste Clotilde Saint Denis France; IRD - UMR ENTROPIE; Labex CORAIL; CS 41095 97495 Sainte Clotilde Cedex La Réunion; et al. (Wiley, 2015-08-24)
      Porites white patch syndrome (PWPS) is a coral disease recently described in the Western Indian Ocean. This study aimed to isolate and identify potential pathogens associated with PWPS utilizing both culture and nonculture screening techniques and inoculation trials. A total of 14 bacterial strains (those dominant in disease lesions, absent or rare in healthy tissues and considered potential pathogens in a previous study) were cultured and used to experimentally inoculate otherwise healthy individuals in an attempt to fulfil Henle–Koch's postulates. However, only one (P180R), identified as closely related (99–100% sequence identity based on 1.4 kb 16S RNA sequence) to Vibrio tubiashii, elicited signs of disease in tank experiments. Following experimental infection (which resulted in a 90% infection rate), the pathogen was also successfully re-isolated from the diseased tissues and re-inoculated in healthy corals colonies, therefore fulfilling the final stages of Henle–Koch's postulates. Finally, we report that PWPS appears to be a temperature-dependent disease, with significantly higher tissue loss (anova: d.f. = 2, F = 39.77, P < 0.01) occurring at 30 °C [1.45 ± 0.85 cm2 per day (mean ± SE)] compared to ambient temperatures of 28 and 26 °C (0.73 ± 0.80 cm2 per day (mean ± SE) and 0.51 ± 0.50 cm2 per day (mean ± SE), respectively).