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2022 Cefas paper Janickina feisti

2022 Cefas paper Janickina feisti

In recent years the Selsey fishermen have found in creasing numbers of sleepy and dead crabs among edible crab (Cancer pagarus) catch in the sea off Selsey prompting Cefas to investigate.

A previously unidentified paramoebiasis, Janickina feisti, was discovered in the Selsey crabs. This resulted in extensive investigations by Dr. Kelly Bateman, Crustacean Health Theme Lead, Cefas. Following is a summary of findings:

  • The novel pathogen had not previously been identified in Cancer pagarus.
  • It has no effect on human health.
  • Lobsters did not appear to be infected, only crabs however further work will be required to confirm this

Where the organism came from still remains a mystery. These are opportunistic pathogens and there will be a bigger story associated with them. The findings could be related to events such as climate change; invasive species; habitat change, but the origin of the pathogen isn’t known. It is unlikely to be related to specific events.

This is the first time the pathogen has been observed in edible crab tissues. Much more work is needed before anything more specific is known.

The findings were written up in a peer reviewed paper and a national search for further presence of Janickina feisti is underway.

Follow this link to read the Cefas paper: Inter Research » DAO » v150 » p1-16 (

Follow this link to read the  Full text in pdf format