DAO 73:83-88 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/dao073083

Clearance of a dermal Huffmanela sp. in a sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus) using levamisole

Robert A. MacLean1,2,6, Michael H. Fatzinger3, Kevin D. Woolard4, Craig A. Harms1,5,*

1Environmental Medicine Consortium, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606, USA
2The North Carolina Zoological Park, 4401 Zoo Parkway, Asheboro, North Carolina 27203, USA
3North Carolina Aquariums at Fort Fisher, 900 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach, North Carolina 28449, USA
4Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606, USA
5North Carolina State University Center for Marine Science and Technology, 303 College Circle, Morehead City, North Carolina 28557, USA
6Present address: The Audubon Institute, 6500 Magazine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118, USA
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: A wild-caught captive sandbar shark Carcharhinus plumbeus developed a contiguous network of darkly pigmented linear tracks that progressed from the snout to the ventral cervical region. Microscopic examination of a skin scraping revealed nematode eggs of the genus Huffmanela, a group of histozoic nematodes that is known to parasitize requiem sharks and marine and freshwater teleosts. The fresh eggs were darkly pigmented with bipolar plugs, contained a larva, and measured 73.3 to 86.4 by 39.0 to 47.4 µm (n = 10). Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded eggs were significantly smaller (Wilcoxon rank sums test, p < 0.005), measuring 70.5 to 78.9 by 33.6 to 41.3 µm (n = 13). These measurements do not correlate with previously reported species of Huffmanela. Serial treatment with levamisole (10 mg kg–1, intramuscular [i.m.]) cleared the egg tracks within 21 d, with no recurrence or apparent complications.


KEY WORDS: Parasitic nematode · Huffmanela · Carcharhinus


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