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Tail Fan Necrosis syndrome in decapod crustaceans: A review.

Journal of Fish Diseases 2024 January 17
Lobsters and crayfish in Australasia can develop a condition known as Tail Fan Necrosis (TFN syndrome). Many attempts have been made to find a primary pathogen or link the syndrome to commercial activities, but a solution remains elusive. TFN syndrome is a 'wicked problem', a problem difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete and contradictory information forming a matrix of potential outcomes with no simple solution. Reviewing the literature shows TFN syndrome is sometimes reported to develop in association with sterile blisters on the telson and uropods which may rupture permitting invasion by environmental fungal and/or bacterial flora. Whether blisters form prior to, or because of, infection is unknown. TFN syndrome sometimes develops in captivity, sometimes requires a previous insult to the telson and uropods, and prevalence is patchy in the wild. The literature shows the cause of blisters associated with TFN syndrome remains an enigma, for which we suggest several possible initiating factors. We strongly urge that researchers not 'jump to conclusions' as to the aetiology of TFN syndrome. It cannot be explained without carefully exploring alternative aetiologies whilst being cognisant of the age-old lesson that 'correlation does not equal causation'.

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