DAO 51:61-65 (2002)  -  doi:10.3354/dao051061

Malabsorption syndrome observed in the common octopus Octopus vulgaris infected with Aggregata octopiana (Protista: Apicomplexa)

C. Gestal1,*, M. Páez de la Cadena2, S. Pascual1

1Area de Parasitología, FEPMAR- PB2, and
2Area de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Grupo BB1, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Vigo, Aptdo. 874-36200 Vigo, Spain
*Present address: Grupo ECOBIOMAR, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas (CSIC), Eduardo Cabello 6, 36208 Vigo, Spain. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: Octopus vulgaris infected with Aggregata octopiana were collected from an open-water culture system in the Ría of Aldán (NW Spain). Digestive tract infection values were determined with the use of a Neubauer chamber by counting the number of A. octopiana sporocysts. After determining enzyme activity values by the colorimetric Api-Zym system Biomerieux®, one representative enzyme of glycosidases, peptid hydrolases and phosphoric hydrolases showing high activity was spectrophotometrically analysed. The enzymes were maltase and leucine-aminopeptidase (LAP) involved in the absorption process, and acid phosphatase, a lysosomic enzyme, respectively. Enzymatic activity of maltase and LAP decreased significantly, with increased sporocyst counts. However, acid phosphatase activity increased with severity of infection, indicating the presence of degradative enzymes from phagocytic cells in the infected area. A detrimental effect on gastrointestinal function may result from a decrease or malfunction of absorption enzymes. The results suggest a malabsorption syndrome resulting from parasitic infection.


KEY WORDS: Octopus vulgaris · Aggregata octopiana · Absorption enzymes · Maltase · Leucine-aminopeptidase · Acid phosphatase · Lysosomic enzyme


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