Parasitology What is a parasite? Definition: An animal which lives in (endoparasite) or on (ectoparasite) another animal (the host). Is almost always a different species from the host Depends on the host for food an causes some degree of injury General characteristics
Tremendous reproductive capabilities Have physical adaptations that enhance attachment to the host (i.e. suckers, hooks or clamps) Possess various mechanisms for avoiding the hosts immune response Exhibit complex life cycles often with multiple hosts Typical Indirect parasite life cycle Primary Host Adult stage parasite infects host
Infective larvae Egg/Spore Stage Able to infect primary host Transmission and spread into the environment Intermediate host Growth and developmental stage
(may not cause damage to the host) Negative affects on the host Direct damage to host inducing tissue and organ damage Indirect effects Stress causes an increase susceptibility to secondary infections Direct damage can act as a portal for secondary infection Parasite may serve as a carrier/vector for
another viral/bacterial pathogen Signs of Parasitic infections Fish at surface gulping or piping Suggests parasites on gills Fish rolling/flashing suggests protozoan or worm infestation (internal or external)
Lethargy or listlessness Suggests gill parasite Fish at bottom Suggests gill parasite, especially Ich Fin erosion/Lesions Indicative of external parasite Flared gills Indicative of gill parasite
Excess mucus, fish shimmies/quivers, or is off feed General indication of disease Major Groups of Fish Parasites Protozoa: single celled animals Monogenetic Trematodes: Flukes (flatworms) with haptor (posterior attachment organ) and have a simple life cycle (no intermediate host) Digenetic Trematodes: Flukes (flatworms) with
oral/ventral suckers and exhibit complex life cycles (involve intermediate hosts) Major Groups of Fish Parasites Cestodes (Tapeworms): worms with flattened/segmented bodies, head usually has suckers/hooks/suctional grooves Nematodes (Roundworms): Thin elongated worms with cylindrical bodies covered by a rigid cuticle Acanthocephala (Spiny-headed worms): bodies cylindrical or fattened with anterior end bearing
elaborate hooked proboscis Major Groups of Fish Parasites Copepods: crustaceans (sea lice) that may appear louse, worm, or grub like Leeches: flattened or cylindrical, body segmented with anterior/posterior suckers Glochidia: larval freshwater clams Fungi: either as spores or as fungal hyphae External Protozoa Flagellates
Ichthyobodo (Costia) Ciliates Ichthyophthirius multifilis (Ich) Trichodinids External Protozoa Common and usually occur in low numbers Dense populations can cause serious epizootics
(usually caused by some form of stress) Symptoms include: -Irritation (flashing) -Erosion of scales -Erythema (reddening) -Hemorrhaging -Excess mucus production -white spots on skin Control by chemical treatment Internal Protozoa Myxobolus
cerebralis (whirling disease) Ceratomyxa shasta Myxobolus cerebralis Infects cultured and wild salmonids Specific tropism for cartilage Infection can
result in axial skeleton and neural damage Typical Indirect parasite life cycle Primary Host Adult stage parasite infects host Infective larvae Egg/Spore Stage
Able to infect primary host Transmission and spread into the environment Intermediate host Growth and developmental stage (may not cause damage to the host) Ceratomyxa shasta Myxosporea Found in marine and
freshwater environments Only infects salmonids Susceptibility varies Clinical signs vary among infected salmonid species Henneguya Myxosporea
Ovoid, spherical, or lenticular spores Usually cysts form around General Myxosporidean lifecycles landmark discovery by Wolf & Markiw in 1984
a fish myxosporean alternates with an actinosporean from an oligochaete worm both spore types represent alternate lifecycle stages of the one organism
morphologically distinct spores are genetically identical General Diagnostic Procedure Presumptive ID: Wet preparation Histology Site of infection Spore morphology Confirmation of ID:
Molecular methods Any level of infection, all stages, definitive Trematodes Monogenetic Gyrodactylus sp. Digenetic Bolbophorus
damnificus is often referred to as the catfish trematode Digenetic Trematodes A) Adult flukes reside in fish, birds, or mammals B) Flukes lay eggs that pass through the definitive host, eggs hatch to a ciliated miracidia C) The miracidia will develop
to a cercariae if in contact with a snail or mussel D) If the cercariae contacts invertabrate of fish host it will encyst as a metacercaria Cestodes A) GI tract of fish, bird or Mammal B) Eggs are laid to water and are eaten or hatch into a
coracidium (C) and are then eaten by an invertebrate host C) Larval development to a proceroid or a pleroceroid occurs invertebrate D) Final host becomes infected by ingesting invertebrate A. colex of Bothriocephalus acheilognathii from carp,
Transvaal, South Africa (by courtesy of J.G. Van As). B. B. acheilognathii, whole worm (living) from farmed carp, Israel. C. Embryonated eggs of b. D. Ligula sp. from Rastrineobola argenteus from L. Victoria. Infected fish are recognized by their inflated abdomen (top fish) and may accommodate even three worms (bottom
group). Nematodes C. philippinensis egg C. philippinensis adult Unembryonated eggs are passed in the stool (1) and become embryonated in the environment (2); after ingestion by freshwater fish,
larvae hatch, penetrate the intestine, and migrate to the tissues (3). Ingestion of raw or undercooked fish results in infection (4). The adults reside in the human small intestine mucosa (5). The females deposit unembryonated eggs (can become embryonated) (6). Also infects fish eating birds (7).
Capillaria philippinensis Acanthocephala A) GI tract of Fish, Acanthor larva released B) Eaten by invertebrates and produces a cystacanth (C) D) If eaten by
suitable host, the cystacanth will develop into an adult Neoechinorhynchus rutili Adult female Adult male Leeches (Hirudinea)
Leech with brood attached Top view Leech Characteristics Primarily occur in freshwater Most are predators or scavengers which feed on fluids or soft tissues of live or dead invertebrates Generally have 34 body segments and an anterior and posterior sucker
Parasitic leeches attach temporarily Cause little noticeable harm Hirudinea Problems Hemorrhaging
Irritation Weight loss Some can be vectors of other parasites Copepods Salmonicola sp. Lernaea sp.
Copepods are a subclass of Crustaceans Sexes are usually separate with sexual dimorphism present Heavy infections can cause severe damage to skin, muscle, and gill tissues Can also lead to secondary infections, anemia, emaciation, and mortality Copepoda A) Mature copepods
release eggs (B) that hatch to larvae (C) D) After molting a copepod stage is formed and may attach to a host (E) Glochidia Larvae attach to gills or skin Live as parasites then drop off and live independently Some modify mantle tissue to help find
host Glochidia Lampsilis reeveiana Glochidia attaching to gill tissue Fungi Saprolegnia water molds
Worldwide in freshwater Appear as whitish cottony-like growths Considered secondary invaders Can attach to eggs and fish Can be controlled with chemicals Aphanomyces
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