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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 144:55-59 (2021)  -  DOI:

Outbreak of hirudiniasis in aquarium-reared albino red-bellied pacu Piaractus brachypomus

J. Praveenraj1,2,*, A. Uma2,3, K. Saravanan1, G. Rebecca3, C. K. Mandal4

1ICAR-Central Island Agricultural Research Institute, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744105, India
2Department of Aquatic Animal Health Management, Dr. M.G.R. Fisheries College and Research Institute, Ponneri 601204, India
3State Referral Laboratory for Aquatic Animal Health (SRLAAH), Tamil Nadu Dr. Jayalalithaa Fisheries University-Madhavaram Campus, Madhavaram Milk Colony, Chennai 600051, India
4Zoological Survey of India, 27, J. L. Nehru Road, FPS Building, Kolkata 7000016, India
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: We report hirudiniasis caused by the leech Hemiclepsis marginata asiatica Moore, 1924 in albino red-bellied pacu (pirapitinga) Piaractus brachypomus (Cuvier, 1818), constituting the first documentation of a freshwater fish species being affected in India. The outbreak occurred in a tank of an aquarium-fish retailer; infested fish appeared asphyxiated, unable to swim or swimming upside down, with cloudy eyes and body with thick mucus secretion. The prevalence and mortality was 100%, with a mean intensity of 81 leeches per fish. The histopathology of the morbid fish revealed degenerative necrosis, eosinophilic infiltration in the muscle tissue and haemorrhages in the fin membrane. The leech mitochondrial 18S rDNA and 12S rDNA genes were characterised and submitted to GenBank under accession numbers MN380443 (18S) and MK733282 (12S). A maximum likelihood tree was constructed using 12S rDNA gene sequences to demonstrate the phylogenetic position of Hemiclepsis marginata asiatica among its congeners.

KEY WORDS: Hirudinia · Ectoparasite · Parasites · Pacu · Hemiclepsis marginata asiatica

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Cite this article as: Praveenraj J, Uma A, Saravanan K, Rebecca G, Mandal CK (2021) Outbreak of hirudiniasis in aquarium-reared albino red-bellied pacu Piaractus brachypomus. Dis Aquat Org 144:55-59.

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