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General Interest Site

Disease and Parasites


Hematodinium is a parasitic dinoflagellate which attacks shellfish.  In Georgia it has caused crab kills in the summers of 1999 and 2000. 

Hematodinium Links

    Some Blue Crabs in Georgia struck by blood disease

    Parasite may be responsible for crab decline

    Diseases of Shellfish: Hematodinium sp. (Bitter Crab Disease)

    Hematodinium research: Blue crab, Callinectes sapidus


Pfiesteria piscicida


Pfiesteria piscicida is a toxic dinoflagellate which has been identified as the causative agent in fish kills and lesions on fish in estuaries and coastal areas from Delaware to North Carolina.  Thus far, it has not caused a problem in Georgia.  It is possible that because of the large tidal amplitudes we have along Georgia's coast that the high water temperatures and relatively stagnant water that characterize areas of Pfiesteria outbreaks will not occur here.  However, samples are taken and analyzed by GA DNR Coastal Resources Division at times when water temperatures are high.


Pfiesteria Links


    Pfiesteria piscicida

    Pfiesteria and Fish Health (MD)

    Pfiesteria research at VIMS (VA)

    Facts about Pfiesteria

    Background information on Pfiesteria piscicida (NCSU Aquatic Botany Lab)