Susceptible to pathogens?

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Animal Mother, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    With this theory about the Haitian supplied octos being affected by some unknown problem, I was wondering if there are any possible pathogens/viruses octopuses are susceptible to?

    My thinking is based on my experience with fish/vertebrates so it might be completely off-base, but I am worried about introducing another octopus to my tank. I know Vibrio and Brookynella can remain in a tank for some time after there are no more fish. Also, seahorses of different species can release pathogens into the water in order to eliminate competing species. What is the likelyhood of something similar happening with octopus?

    What makes autophagia "contagious"? I understand that if an octopus suffers from a condition that causes autophagia, the tank has to be sterilized or future inhabitants can share the same fate, which leads me to think perhaps this might not be the only thing that could linger in a tank and affect future octopuses housed in the same tank.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    The contagious autophagy has been theorized to be caused by a prion, but as far as I know there isn't direct evidence for that. I think the reason a prion is suspected is because it seems to persist in tanks that are treated to kill bacteria, viruses, and other parasites. Of course, it could still be something bigger that has a very persistent cyst or something like that, too. I can't find any academic papers on autophagy except one in Japanese, so I'm not sure how well this has been studied; I think Jean was the one who mentioned the prion theory, but I could be remembering wrong.

    I was thinking that given the eye issues that seemed to react to antibiotics, a bacterial cause might be the first thing to look for.
     
  3. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    So as far as any studies go, there are no other known problems for cephalopods that linger in fallow tanks?
     
  4. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Boyle specifically mentions that Vibrio alginolyticus can cause skin infections. Interestingly, some cephalopods recruit symbiotic Vibrio for bioluminescence or (in blue rings) producing toxic TTX for venom. He also says at least 5 different bacteria have been cultured from skin ulcers, but doesn't say what they were.

    Boyle also mentions Thraustochytrid and labyrinthulid fungi but says it wasn't clear if that was a secondary infection or the cause of lesions directly. It was also in Eledone cirrhosa so it may not apply to the types of octos commonly kept by the hobby crowd anyway.

    I expect gjbarord, Jean, Squidmum, and various others will have a lot more to say on the subject; I only know a bit I picked up on the street, but I gather there's a lot of unexplored territory in cephalopod diseases... I've been trying to learn about octo immune systems for a while, and haven't had much luck finding info.
     
  5. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Well thank you anyway. That is more than I knew, and something to start researching on my own.

    I am doubting there is any threat, but I had to ask. Considering how many cephs are kept by hobbyists and professional aquarists both public and private, I would think there would be more known about the subject if such issues were common, or at least that there even was an issue with such a thing.

    Interesting to know that Vibrio can be linked to cephs in a symbiotic way. Not really surprised, but bioluminesense? That's insane. Nature is just so freakin complex... amazing world we live in.
     
  6. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Here's some links since you sound interested:

    a conference on Euprymna scolopes symbiosis with Vibrio fischeri

    the TTX producing Vibrio strain found in pufferfish, which I believe is now known to also be the one that grows in blue ringed octos.
     
  7. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    You are correct, cephalopod disease is greatly misunderstood due to a variety of reasons; misdiagnosis, senescence, etc. I will try and give some information which will hopefully be helpful.

    Fungus: Most fungal infections in cephalopods are secondary infections that occur as a result of trauma or something else compromising the immune system. The common fungus occurring in cephalopods is Fusarium.

    Bacteria: As stated earlier, the most common bacteria found in cephalopods are Vibrio. I do not believe that cephalopods are susceptible to any specific bacterial species, though there is very little information on this subject at present.

    Virus: Viruses are even less described in cephalopods.

    A great reference, for what little information there is, would be Invertebrate Medicine (Gregory Lewbart).

    The most common thing that is detrimental, and easily sequestered in a tank, is copper. As long as there was never any copper in the tank, then you should not worry about any residuals in the tank.

    Just a little scatter-brained this morning so I hope that flowed correctly and made sense.

    Greg :sink:
     
  8. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Thanks both of you.
     
  9. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Most of our octis have been remarkably healthy, we actually have very few problems. The occasional fungal infection and a couple of memorable cases of Autophagy.......nasty nasty nasty.

    Yes I'm the one who floated the prion theory here.....but twas based on a paper (by I think Bernd Budelmann: BUDELMANN B.U. 1998. Autophagy in Octopus. S Afr J mar Sci 20:101-108.)

    J
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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