DAO 61:175-178 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/dao061175

Detection and quantification of Spironucleus barkhanus in experimentally infected Atlantic salmon Salmo salar

Fu Ci Guo, Patrick T. K. Woo*

Department of Zoology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario NIG 2WI, Canada
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: The course of Spironucleus barkhanus (Diplomonadida: Hexamitidae) infection in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. (Salmonidae) has 2 distinct phases, a blood phase and a tissue phase. To detect and quantify an infection, 3 parasitological techniques, namely Wet Mount Examination (WME), Hematocrit Centrifuge Technique (HCT) and the Hemocytometer (HCM) were used. In addition, 1 immunological technique, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), was developed to detect specific antibodies against S. barkhanus. This technique would be particularly useful for epidemiological studies where large numbers of fish had to be examined. It would also be a good technique to detect infection during the tissue phase of the disease when there were no or a low number of parasites in the blood.


KEY WORDS: Spironucleus barkhanus · Diagnosis · ELISA · Salmo salar


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