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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 151:51-60 (2022)  -  DOI:

Limited accrual of myxospores of Kudoa inornata (Cnidaria: Myxosporea) in their wild fish hosts, Cynoscion nebulosus (Teleostei: Sciaenidae)

Augustus M. Snyder1, Eric J. McElroy1, John F. Smith1, John Archambault2, Isaure de Buron1,*

1Department of Biology, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29412, USA
2South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Marine Resources Research Institute, Charleston, SC 29412, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Kudoa inornata is a myxosporean that infects the seatrout Cynoscion nebulosus. Increased prevalence of infection as fish age and absence of inflammation against plasmodia led to the hypothesis that seatrout retain and accumulate myxospores throughout their lives. However, opportunistic observations that wild-caught seatrout cleared infection when maintained in aquaculture conditions and evidence of encapsulated infected necrotic myofibers suggested that fish develop an immunity against this parasite, or that myxospores have a limited life span. To evaluate myxospore clearance and to test putative resistance to re-infection, we examined 44 wild-caught seatrout broodstock maintained in parasite-free water for 2-6 yr. Twenty-five fish served as negative controls (time zero of experiment), and 19 were exposed to water-borne K. inornata infective stages for 18 wk. Over 73% of the exposed fish became infected, compared to ~12% of control fish, indicating that fish were susceptible to re-infection by K. inornata. Whether plasmodia degenerate because K. inornata myxospores have a limited life span or seatrout develop an adaptive immunity against these life stages remains unknown. To test for accumulation of myxospores over time, we compared myxospore densities and intensities between sexes and across ages and sizes of wild seatrout. There was no significant difference in myxospore densities with size, age, or sex. However, intensities increased significantly with increasing fish age and size, indicating accrual of myxospores over time. These results combined with evidence of infection clearance suggest that K. inornata myxospores do not persist but nevertheless accrue in wild seatrout due to continuous contact with infective stages.

KEY WORDS: Myxozoa · Seatrout · Immunity · Resistance · Infection density · Infection intensity

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Cite this article as: Snyder AM, McElroy EJ, Smith JF, Archambault J, de Buron I (2022) Limited accrual of myxospores of Kudoa inornata (Cnidaria: Myxosporea) in their wild fish hosts, Cynoscion nebulosus (Teleostei: Sciaenidae). Dis Aquat Org 151:51-60.

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