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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 141:195-224 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03510

High prevalence of biliary neoplasia in white perch Morone americana: potential roles of bile duct parasites and environmental contaminants

Mark A. Matsche1,*, Vicki S. Blazer2, Erin L. Pulster3, Patricia M. Mazik4

1Cooperative Oxford Laboratory, Oxford, Maryland 21654, USA
2US Geological Survey, National Fish Health Research Laboratory, Leetown Science Center, Kearneysville, West Virginia 25430, USA
3University of South Florida, College of Marine Sciences, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA
4US Geological Survey, West Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, West Virginia University, 322 Percival Hall, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Recent surveys of white perch Morone americana from Chesapeake Bay, USA, revealed a high prevalence of hepatic and biliary lesions, including neoplasia, and bile duct parasites. Here, we describe lesions in the liver and gallbladder and evaluate for statistical associations among lesions, parasites, and biomarkers of chemical exposure in fish from 2 tributaries of Chesapeake Bay. Fish were collected from an estuarine site in the Choptank River (n = 122, ages 3-11), a tributary with extensive agriculture within the watershed, and the Severn River (n = 131, ages 2-16), a tributary with extensive urban development. Passive integrative samplers were deployed at the fish collection site and an upstream, non-tidal site in each river for 30 d. Intrahepatic biliary lesions observed in fish from both rivers included neoplasia (23.3%), dysplasia (16.2%), hyperplasia (46.6%), cholangitis (24.9%), and dilated ducts containing plasmodia of Myxidium sp. (24.9%). Hepatocellular lesions included foci of hepatocellular alteration (FHA, 15.8%) and neoplasia in 4 Severn River fish (2.3%). Age of fish and Myxidium sp. infections were significant risk factors for proliferative and neoplastic biliary lesions, age alone was a risk factor for FHA, and Goussia bayae infections were associated with cholangitis and cholecystitis. Lesion prevalence was higher in fish from the Severn River, which contained higher concentrations of PAHs, organochlorine pesticides, and brominated diphenyl ethers. Metabolite biomarkers indicated higher PAH exposures in Severn River fish. This study suggests Myxidium sp. as a promoter of bile duct tumors, but more data are needed to evaluate the biological effects of environmental contaminants in this species.


KEY WORDS: Bile duct · Liver · Teleost · White perch · Neoplasia · Myxozoa · Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons · Chesapeake Bay


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Cite this article as: Matsche MA, Blazer VS, Pulster EL, Mazik PM (2020) High prevalence of biliary neoplasia in white perch Morone americana: potential roles of bile duct parasites and environmental contaminants. Dis Aquat Org 141:195-224. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03510

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