DAO 78:137-146 (2007)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao01877

Distribution and abundance of the salmonid parasite Parvicapsula minibicornis (Myxozoa) in the Klamath River basin (Oregon-California, USA)

Jerri L. Bartholomew1,*, Stephen D. Atkinson1, Sascha L. Hallett1, Christopher M. Zielinski1, J. Scott Foott2

1Center for Fish Disease Research, Department of Microbiology, Oregon State University, 220 Nash Hall, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA
2US Fish and Wildlife Service, California-Nevada Fish Health Center, 24411 Coleman Hatchery Road, Anderson, California 96007, USA

ABSTRACT: The distribution and abundance of the myxosporean parasite Parvicapsula minibicornis in the Klamath River mirrored that of Ceratomyxa shasta, with which it shares both its vertebrate and invertebrate host. Assay of fish held at sentinel sites and water samples collected from those sites showed that parasite prevalence was highest below Iron Gate dam, which is the barrier to anadromous salmon passage. Above this barrier parasite levels fluctuated, with the parasite detected in the free-flowing river reaches between reservoirs. This was consistent with infection prevalence in the polychaete host, Manayunkia speciosa, which was greater than 1% only in populations tested below Iron Gate dam. Although a low prevalence of infection was detected in juvenile out-migrant fish in the Trinity River, the tributaries tested did not appear to be a significant source of the parasite to the mainstem despite the presence of large numbers of infected adult salmon that migrate and spawn there. Rainbow trout became infected during sentinel exposure, which expands the host range for P. minibicornis and suggests that wild rainbow trout populations are a reservoir for infection, especially above Iron Gate dam. High parasite prevalence in the lower Klamath River is likely a combined effect of high spore input from heavily infected, spawned adult salmon and the proximity to dense populations of polychaetes.

KEY WORDS: Distribution · Abundance · Salmonid parasite · Parvicapsula minibicorni · Myxosporea · Klamath River Basin

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Cite this article as: Bartholomew JL, Atkinson SD, Hallett SL, Zielinski CM, Foott JS (2007) Distribution and abundance of the salmonid parasite Parvicapsula minibicornis (Myxozoa) in the Klamath River basin (Oregon-California, USA). Dis Aquat Org 78:137-146. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao01877

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