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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 138:171-183 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03459

Challenge for macrophages and mast cells of Chelon ramada to counter an intestinal microparasite, Myxobolus mugchelo (Myxozoa)

B. Sayyaf Dezfuli1,*, G. Castaldelli1, R. Tomaini1, M. Manera2, J. A. DePasquale3, G. Bosi4

1Department of Life Sciences & Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, St Borsari 46, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
2Faculty of Biosciences, Food and Environmental Technologies, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy
4Department of Health, Animal Sciences and Food Safety, Università degli Studi di Milano, St. Trentacoste 2, 20134 Milan, Italy
3Morphogenyx Inc, PO Box 717, East Northport, NY 11731, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Thinlip mullet Chelon ramada is the most abundant mullet species found in the Comacchio lagoons (northern Adriatic Sea, Italy). Histological and ultrastructural sections of the intestine of C. ramada showed that over 83% of 48 mullets were infected with the intestinal parasite Myxobolus mugchelo (Myxozoa). In histological sections, plasmodia of M. mugchelo containing mature spores were situated closer to mucosal folds and were surrounded by numerous mast cells (MCs). Mature spores, generally oval in shape, were observed in the paracellular space among the enterocytes or within them. Near the infected epithelial cells, several MCs, rodlet cells and few neutrophils occurred. In intestinal epithelium, large cells resembling macrophages, some with spores of M. mugchelo inside, were observed. These macrophage-like cells were foamy and possessed elongate striated granules. The number of MCs and macrophages in the intestinal epithelium was significantly higher in parasitized fish. In some parasitized intestines, portions of epithelium were displaced by spores, or the spores were observed inside the damaged enterocytes. Immunohistochemical analysis of C. ramada infected or uninfected intestinal tissue revealed the presence of histamine, serotonin (5-HT), leu-enkephalin and inducible-nitric oxide synthase in epithelial macrophages. Several epithelial cells positive to proliferating cell-nuclear antigen were also observed in the proximity of the macrophages. The current study is the first to record the occurrence of intraepithelial macrophages which engulf myxozoan spores. A hypothesis on migration of spores from pancreas via intestinal wall to gut lumen is presented.


KEY WORDS: Histopathology · Innate immunity · Myxozoa · Intestinal macrophages


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Cite this article as: Dezfuli BS, Castaldelli G, Tomaini R, Manera M, DePasquale JA, Bosi G (2020) Challenge for macrophages and mast cells of Chelon ramada to counter an intestinal microparasite, Myxobolus mugchelo (Myxozoa). Dis Aquat Org 138:171-183. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03459

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