Lucky was indeed quite lucky. He had been acting senescent since SandV handed him off to me, and considering his very large size for A. aculeatus, I was very surprised to see him last a month. His final days were not in vane however. We were able to get atleast four distinct cultures of cutaneous bacteria from him, and we are proceeding to ID them by 16s ribosomal RNA sequences and assay them for anti-microbial activity, along with several bacterial cultures from some Octopus rubescens. We are hypothesizing that Octopuses may have a native flora of cutaneous bacteria that are a first line of defense against pathogenic microbes, much in the same way some amphibians have been shown to have.
It will be interesting to hear what you might find in the way of a natural immune system and ultimately, anything the aquarist might be able to do to supplement. If you find something, it might also be interesting to see if it is shared with scaleless fish (like dragonettes)