与人和其它动物一样，珊瑚也生病。在过去30多年里各种珊瑚疾病对全球珊瑚礁造成了严重破坏。目前已知的珊瑚疾病多达30多种，但确定病原体的仅6种。阐述了造礁石珊瑚的7种最主要疾病类型（黑带病、黑斑病、白带病、白色瘟疫、白斑病、黄带病和珊瑚白化病等）的症状、扩散速率、疾病患病率、珊瑚死亡率等。频繁发生的珊瑚疾病导致主要造礁物种死亡，减少礁区的生物多样性，对珊瑚礁生态系统产生破坏日益严重，甚至引起以珊瑚为主导的珊瑚礁系统转变为以大型藻类为主导的生态系统。全球气温上升和人为活动引起的一系列环境因子的变化被认为是各种珊瑚疾病发生的诱导因素，海水温度升高是Oculina patagonica和Pocillopora damicornis 2种珊瑚细菌性白化的先决条件，其它环境因素如营养盐、有机污染物等超过一定量或pH值改变时会对珊瑚造成生理压力，降低其对病毒的抵抗力，也可能改变病原体生存的生态阈值，增强其病原毒力，引发并加速疾病的扩散。此外，珊瑚的生存环境如覆盖度、水深等与疾病的爆发也有一定的关系，一般认为覆盖度高 ，水深较浅处珊瑚疾病发生频率高。
Like human being and other animals, corals can also be sick. Over the past 30 years, coral diseases have been widely recognized for their destructive impacts on coral reefs. To date, more than 30 types of coral diseases have been identified, but only 6 types have been determined of their specific pathogens. Here we briefly introduce the symptoms and the rates of spreading, incidencing and mortality of Severn main types of scleractinian coral diseases (black-band disease, dark spots disease, white-band disease, white plague, white pox disease, yellow band disease, and bacterial bleaching), and review their influences on coral reef ecology and the relationship between coral diseases and environmental factors. Based on present understanding, the frequent occurrence of coral diseases can reduce coral cover, and which in turn can result in the shift of a coral reef from a coral-dominant community into a fleshy seaweed-dominant one. The factors that cause coral diseases include seawater temperature, pH, nutrition concentration, chemicals, dissolved oxygen concentration, and their combined influences, and the warming of global climate and the increasing of human activities are believed to have triggered the changes of the above environmental factors and the outbreak of coral diseases. It is clearly identified that the elevated seawater temperature is the essential factor in outbreak of bacterial bleaching of coral Oculina patagonica and Pocillopora damicornis. Other factors, such as enriched nutrition, exceeded organic pollutants and the changing of seawater pH values can bring physiological stress to corals, and then reduce the coral's resistance to diseases. Coral cover, water depth and seawater disolved oxygen concentration are also observed to have influences on coral diseases, with corals at shallow water and high coral cover habitat being easily infected.