Dr. Stephen Atkinson, Dr. Jerri Bartholomew and grad student Benjamin Americus (OSU Microbiology) in collaboration with the University of Haifa are researching the source of energy behind this process in other cnidarians.  Myxozoans are parasitic, microscopic cnidarians.  Like other cnidarians (jellyfish anemones) they have specialized stinging organs called nematocysts to attach to fish in the first step towards infection.  Nematocyst discharge is driven by osmotic energy which can be negated by putting the animals in cation-rich water.  With the myxozoan parasite Myxobolus cerebralis, the ability of different cations such as Na2+ and K+  to interfere with nematocyst discharge and prevent infection is being examined.

Americus, B.E.  2019.  investigation of nematocyst discharge in parasitic cnidarians (myxozoa).  OSU.