DAO 53:173-176 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/dao053173

Comparative susceptibility of two races of Salmo salar (Baltic Lule river and Atlantic Conon river strains) to infection with Gyrodactylus salaris

M. B. Dalgaard*, C. V. Nielsen, K. Buchmann

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Section of Fish Diseases, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, 4 Stigbøjlen, 1870 Frederiksberg Centrum, Denmark
*Email:

ABSTRACT: The susceptibility of various races of salmonids towards infections with the skin parasitic monogenean Gyrodactylus salaris Malmberg, 1957, differs markedly. Norwegian and Scottish salmon strains are known as extremely susceptible to infection, whereas Baltic salmon races such as the Neva strain (Russian origin) and the Indals river (Swedish origin) salmon have been characterized as relatively resistant. However, the status of the many other Baltic strains has remained unknown. The present study reports on the susceptibility of the Baltic salmon from the Swedish river Lule. It was shown that this strain is susceptible to infection but to a lesser extent than the Scottish salmon. Further studies showed that injection of immuno-suppressants (dexamethasone) greatly increased population growth of G. salaris on Scottish salmon but not on the Baltic salmon. Mucous cell density on fins differed between strains, and a general trend to decreased cell density on infected fish 8 wk post-infection, compared to uninfected fish, was observed. The largest decrease in mucous cell density following infection was seen in the most resistant fish. After administration of immuno-suppressants, this decrease in mucous cell density was inhibited in the Scottish salmon but not in the Baltic salmon. Thus, there seems to be a relationship between the fishes┬╣ ability to discard mucous cells and the ability to resist infections with Gyrodactylus salaris. Although the Lule salmon seems more susceptible to infection compared to previous reports on the Neva salmon, the results support the notion that Baltic salmon strains are generally more resistant than East Atlantic salmon.


KEY WORDS: Atlantic salmon · Salmo salar · Conon river · Lule river · Gyrodactylus salaris · Susceptibility · Mucous cells · Dexamethasone


Full text in pdf format