Perkinsosis is a disease of gastropod and bivalve molluscs caused by protozoan parasites of the Perkinsus genus. These parasites have been responsible for mass mortalities worldwide, with a significant impact in both fisheries and aquaculture, and resulting in severe economic losses. This review focuses mainly on current knowledge of diagnostic methods and on the distribution of Perkinsus spp. in the Northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea, which infect the grooved carpet shell clam Ruditapes decussatus and the Japanese carpet shell clam Ruditapes philippinarum. The association between perkinsosis and high mortality rates of R. decussatus and R. philippinarum in southern European countries such as Portugal and Italy is discussed as is the role of environmental factors in those mortality outbreaks. The putative introduction of Perkinsus olseni into the Northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea is also discussed, as are management strategies that could be used to mitigate the impact of perkinsosis in production of R. decussatus and R. philippinarum.
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