DAO 122:223-236 (2017)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03077

Effect of Ichthyophonus on blood plasma chemistry of spawning Chinook salmon and their resulting offspring in a Yukon River tributary

T. P. Floyd-Rump1,*, L. A. Horstmann-Dehn1, S. Atkinson2, C. Skaugstad

1College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 905 N Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA
2College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Juneau, AK 99801, USA
3Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 1300 College Road, Fairbanks, AK 99701, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Ichthyophonus is a protozoan parasite of Alaska Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. In this study, we determined whether spawning Chinook salmon in the Yukon River drainage exhibited a measurable stress response (i.e. elevated plasma cortisol concentrations) and detectable changes in selected blood plasma chemistry parameters when infected with Ichthyophonus. The resulting alevin were also analyzed for any differences in blood plasma chemistry caused by parental infection with Ichthyophonus. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, spawning adult Chinook salmon were collected from the Salcha River, Alaska, USA, and the prevalence of Ichthyophonus in these fish was 7.8, 6.3, and 8.3%, respectively. Fish with no clinical signs of Ichthyophonus and Ichthyophonus-positive parents were cross-fertilized to investigate potential second-generation effects as a result of Ichthyophonus infection. We found no significant difference in cortisol concentrations in blood plasma between Ichthyophonus- positive and -negative adults or between alevin from Ichthyophonus- positive and -negative parents. There were no significant differences in blood plasma parameters (e.g. alanine aminotransferase, creatine kinase, glucose) of Ichthyophonus-negative and -positive adults, with the exception of aspartate aminotransferase, which was significantly higher in plasma of Ichthyophonus-negative adults. All clinical chemistry parameters for alevin resulting from both Ichthyophonus-negative and -positive parents were not significantly different. Based on this study, which has a limited sample size and low prevalence of Ichthyophonus, offspring of Chinook salmon appear to suffer no disadvantage as a result of Ichthyophonus infection in their parents on the Salcha River.


KEY WORDS: Oncorhynchus tshawytscha · Protozoan · Parasite · Yukon River · Salcha River · Cortisol concentration · Clinical blood chemistry


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Cite this article as: Floyd-Rump TP, Horstmann-Dehn LA, Atkinson S, Skaugstad C (2017) Effect of Ichthyophonus on blood plasma chemistry of spawning Chinook salmon and their resulting offspring in a Yukon River tributary. Dis Aquat Org 122:223-236. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03077

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