Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease, Antibiotic, Disease treatment, Florida Reef Tract
Since 2014, Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) has led to mass mortality of the majority of hard coral species on the Florida Reef Tract. Following the successful treatment of SCTLD lesions on laboratory corals using water dosed with antibiotics, two topical pastes were developed as vehicles to directly apply antibiotic treatments to wild corals. These pastes were tested as placebos and with additions of amoxicillin on active SCTLD lesions on multiple coral species. The effectiveness of the pastes without antibiotics (placebo treatments) was 4% and 9%, no different from untreated controls. Adding amoxicillin to both pastes significantly increased effectiveness to 70% and 84%. Effectiveness with this method was seen across five different coral species, with success rates of the more effective paste ranging from 67% (Colpophyllia natans) to 90% (Orbicella faveolata and Montastraea cavernosa). Topical antibiotic application is a viable and effective tool for halting disease lesions on corals affected by SCTLD.
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Karen L. Neely, Kevin A. Macaulay, Emily K. Hower, and Michelle A. Dobler. 2020. Effectiveness of Topical Antibiotics in Treating Corals Affected by Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease .PeerJ : e9289 . https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/1078.