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16 October 2014
Epitheliocystis is a disease of fish which causes the skin and gills to be covered in cysts which can then lead to high mortality.
As part of her work, Ms Seth-Smith looked at the epitheliocystis chlamydiae in Sparus aurata (gilt head bream) and Diplodus puntazo (sharpsnout sea bream), and found that the major pathogen is completely new.
Not only that, Ms Seth-Smith also confirmed that the new pathogen in the Sparus is different to the one identified in the Diplodus.
It is therefore now clear that there are three different pathogens causing epitheliocystis.
No agents of epitheliocystis have been cultured yet, but Ms Seth-Smith did reveal that she has obtained draft genomes from micromanipulated tissue which illustrate the genuine diversity.
Going forward, Ms Seth-Smith said she would ideally like to culture the bacteria and figure out its source.