Distribution of Novel Infectious Agent in Healthy and Diseased Bicolor Damselfish in Florida and the CaribbeanEntry ID: RSMAS_MSC001b
Abstract: The disease damselfish neurofibromatosis (DNF) affects bicolor damselfish
(Stegastes partitus) on reefs in Florida. This disease consists of peripheral
nerve sheath and pigment cell tumors that are eventually fatal. The
development of DNF is correlated with the appearance of unusual,
extrachromosomal DNAs in affected fish that appear to be the genome of an
undescribed, virus-like agent. Probes ... derived from these sequences were used to
determine the distribution of this agent in diseased and health fish from
several reefs in South Florida and from selected locations elsewhere in the
range of this species. These analyses demonstrated that naturally diseased fish
exhibited high levels of these DNAs in tumors and, to a lesser extent, in
unaffected tissues. Fish with experimentally induced DNF exhibited similar
levels of this DNA. Healthy adult fish had either no detectable levels of this
DNA or very low levels, depending on the sensitivity of the detection
technique used. Healthy adults from high disease prevalence reefs were more
likely to test positive for this DNA than those from low disease reefs.
Juvenile damselfish never contained detectable levels of this agent. Very low
levels of this DNA were also detected in healthy fish from the Caribbean and
the Bahamas. Dose-response experiments using tumor-derived cell lines indicated
that tumor development was directly related to exposure dosages and that very
low concentrations of this material did not yield tumor development. Taken
together, these data indicate that high levels of this agent were correlated
with the appearance of this disease and the very low levels often observed in
healthy fish were not a predictor of tumor development. To determine
correlations between exposure dosages or low concentrations of DNA and the
development of tumors in healthy fish.
Spatial Data Organization Information - Indirect Spatial Reference:
Named reefs and reef systems: Fowey Rocks, North Dry Rocks, Little Grecian
Reef, Ajax Reef, Dry Tortugas
Named Regions: Bahamas (Bimini), Belize, Curacao,
Haiti, Jamaica, the Turks and Caicos
Direct Spatial Reference: Vector Spatial
Reference Information - Horizontal Coordinate
System Definition - Geodetic Model:
(Click for Interactive Map)
Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: Campbell, C.E., Schmale, M.C.
Dataset Title: Distribution of novel infectious agent in healthy and diseased bicolor damselfish in Florida and the
Dataset Series Name: Marine Biology
Dataset Release Date: 2001
Dataset Release Place: Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Dataset Publisher: Springer-Verlag GmbH
Access Constraints None
Use Constraints Contact Dr. Michael Schmale or the Principle Investigator for data use
constraints. No liability assumed.
Data Set Progress
Email: mschmale at rsmas.miami.edu
MBF/RSMAS University of Miami 4600 Rickenbacker Cswy
Province or State: FL
Postal Code: 33149-1098
Schmale, M.C., P.D.L. Gibbs and C.E. Campbell (2002) A virus-like agent
associated with neurofibromatosis in damselfish. Diseases Aquatic Org. 49:107-115.
Campbell, C.E. and M.C. Schmale (2001) Distribution of a novel infectious agent in healthy and tumored bicolor damselfish in Florida and the Caribbean. Marine Biology 139:777-786.
Campbell, C.E., P.D.L. Gibbs and M.C. Schmale (2001) Progression of infection and tumor development in damselfish. Marine Biotechnology 3:S107-S114
Gibbs, P.D.L. & M.C. Schmale (2000) GFP as a genetic marker scorable throughout the lifecycle of transgenic zebrafish. Marine Biotechnology 2:107-125.
Corrales, J., L.B. Nye, S.D. Baribeau, G. Gassman & M.C. Schmale. (2000) Characterization of scale abnormalities in pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides, from Biscayne Bay, Florida. Environ. Biol. Fishes 57:205-220.
Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2005-07-15
Last DIF Revision Date: 2007-03-06