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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 133:99-105 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03335

Host size influences prevalence and severity of Kudoa thyrsites (Cnidaria: Myxosporea) infection in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar

Simon R. M. Jones*, Amy Long

Pacific Biological Station, 3190 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo, British Columbia, V9T 6N7, Canada
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Kudoa thyrsites is a cosmopolitan myxozoan parasite of marine fish. The infection causes an economically important myoliquefaction in farmed Atlantic salmon in British Columbia, Canada. Laboratory exposure of Atlantic salmon smolts to infectious seawater was used to test the hypothesis that infection with K. thyrsites is more severe in age-matched, smaller salmon. In each of 2 trials approximately 4 mo apart, smolts were graded into small (80 and 68 g), medium (117 and 100 g) and large (142 and 157 g) initial weight groups (IWGs) and concurrently exposed to infectious seawater. The effects of IWG and time on fish size and infection severity were assessed by linear mixed-effects models. The fish were screened for infection by histological examination at intervals following exposure. Increases in mean length and weight were statistically significant in all IWG during both trials. The infection was detected in fish in both trials, and in Trial 2, the prevalence was significantly greater in larger fish 1000 degree-days (DD) after exposure. The severity of infection (plasmodia mm-2 muscle) was significantly higher in larger smolts: between medium and large IWGs at 2500 DD in Trial 1 and between small and medium IWGs at 1500 and 2000 DD in Trial 2. The hypothesis is rejected and possible explanations for the greater occurrence of K. thyrsites in larger smolts are discussed.


KEY WORDS: Kudoa thyrsites · Myxozoa · Atlantic salmon · Salmo salar · Size · Muscle · Infection


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Cite this article as: Jones SRM, Long A (2019) Host size influences prevalence and severity of Kudoa thyrsites (Cnidaria: Myxosporea) infection in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar. Dis Aquat Org 133:99-105. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03335

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