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Freshwater Crayfish 12(1): 11-35 (1999)


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The crayfish plague fungus: history and recent advances

Söderhäll K and Cerenius L  e-mail link

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The crayfish plague is the most serious disease on freshwater crayfish and it has wiped out numerous crayfish populations in Europe. This disease is caused by a fungus-like organism belonging to the Oomycetes named Aphanomyces astaci Schikora, 1903. In the present article we review the history of the crayfish plague in Europe, the life cycle of the fungus, its physiology, and the mechanisms of host infection. Furthermore, we discuss the problem of introduction of various genotypes of Aphanomyces astaci into Europe by American crayfish species as well as their transmission to native species and spreading throughout Europe. At the end the host-parasite interaction and the immune response of crayfish is outlined.

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Söderhäll K and Cerenius L. (1999). The crayfish plague fungus: history and recent advances. Freshwater Crayfish 12(1):11-35. doi:



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