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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 134:113-135 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03353

Seasonal development of the coccidian parasite Goussia bayae and hepatobiliary histopathology in white perch Morone americana from Chesapeake Bay

Mark A. Matsche1,*, Vicki S. Blazer2, Patricia M. Mazik3

1Cooperative Oxford Laboratory, Oxford, Maryland 21654, USA
2US Geological Survey, National Fish Health Research Laboratory, Leetown Science Center Kearneysville, West Virginia 25430, USA
3US Geological Survey, West Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, West Virginia University, 322 Percival Hall, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The coccidium Goussia bayae infects the gallbladder and bile ducts of white perch Morone americana from Chesapeake Bay, USA. Seasonal changes in coccidian infections were analyzed from bile specimens of 1588 fish from the Choptank River during 2016-2018 using wet mount preparations with a Sedgwick-Rafter counting chamber. Histopathology of the gallbladder and liver was analyzed from a subset (n = 480) of these fish. Maximum parasite prevalence (100%) and intensities in the gallbladder occurred during the fish spawning season in March and April. Asynchronous coccidian development and prevalence of infections in fish increased gradually during autumn and winter, but coccidian intensity increased sharply 2-4 wk prior to the onset of fish spawning activity and decreased after spawning activity concluded. Sporulation was internal, and the gallbladder was the primary reservoir for oocysts. Two previously undescribed species of coccidia were observed in the intestine. Lesions in the gallbladder were rare and included cholecystitis and epithelial necrosis. Intrahepatic bile duct lesions were more common and included distension, cholangitis, epithelial erosion and necrosis, cholestasis, hyperplasia, and neoplasia. Cholangitis and necrosis of intrahepatic bile ducts were significantly associated with coccidial infections, while plasmodia of a myxosporean (spore morphology consistent with the genera Myxidium and Zschokella) were significantly associated with bile duct hyperplasia. Biliary neoplasia included cholangiomas (5% prevalence) and cholangiocarcinomas (1% prevalence). No association was detected between G. bayae and biliary neoplasms, but an association may exist between these lesions and the myxosporean plasmodia.


KEY WORDS: Apicomplexa · Gallbladder · Bile duct · Liver · Teleost · Myxosporea · Plasmodia


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Cite this article as: Matsche MA, Blazer VS, Mazik PM (2019) Seasonal development of the coccidian parasite Goussia bayae and hepatobiliary histopathology in white perch Morone americana from Chesapeake Bay. Dis Aquat Org 134:113-135. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03353

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