Pathology of tissue loss (white syndrome) in Acropora sp. corals from the Central Pacific

Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
By:  and 



We performed histological examination of 69 samples of Acropora sp. manifesting different types of tissue loss (Acropora White Syndrome-AWS) from Hawaii, Johnston Atoll and American Samoa between 2002 and 2006. Gross lesions of tissue loss were observed and classified as diffuse acute, diffuse subacute, and focal to multifocal acute to subacute. Corals with acute tissue loss manifested microscopic evidence of necrosis sometimes associated with ciliates, helminths, fungi, algae, sponges, or cyanobacteria whereas those with subacute tissue loss manifested mainly wound repair. Gross lesions of AWS have multiple different changes at the microscopic level some of which involve various microorganisms and metazoa. Elucidating this disease will require, among other things, monitoring lesions over time to determine the pathogenesis of AWS and the potential role of tissue-associated microorganisms in the genesis of tissue loss. Attempts to experimentally induce AWS should include microscopic examination of tissues to ensure that potentially causative microorganisms associated with gross lesion are not overlooked.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Pathology of tissue loss (white syndrome) in Acropora sp. corals from the Central Pacific
Series title Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
DOI 10.1016/j.jip.2011.03.009
Volume 107
Issue 2
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center
Description 5 p.
First page 127
Last page 131
Country United States
State Hawai'i
Other Geospatial American Samoa, French Frigate Shoals, Johnston Atoll
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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