Species Factsheet

Aphanomyces astaci


Complete name: Aphanomyces astaci Schikora 1906
Taxonomy: Chromista » Oomycota » Oomycetes » Saprolegniales » Leptolegniaceae » Aphanomyces astaci
Authors: David Alderman
Last updated: December, 18th, 2006

Common Names

Crayfish plague, Krebspest.


Aphanomyces astaci

Short Description

This Oomycete pseudofungus is the aetiologic agent for the disease which is known as crayfish plague. Crayfish plague is a disease which, as an acute disease, has only created problems in Europe, not in the native range of North America where crayfish act only as carrier vectors. It presents an extreme example of a pathogen that rarely kills its established hosts in its normal geographical range. Naïve European crayfish populations were totally destroyed by the very aggressive pathogen. Over the 150 years that the disease has been present in European rivers, no resistant European crayfish have appeared.