DAO 39:221-229 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/dao039221

A study of sequential histopathology of Trypanoplasma borreli (Protozoa: Kinetoplastida) in susceptible common carp Cyprinus carpio

Sumrarn Bunnajirakul1,*, Dieter Steinhagen1,<+k10>**, Udo Hetzel2, Wolfgang Körting1, Wolfgang Drommer2

1Fish Disease Resarch Unit and 2Pathology Department, School of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, 30559 Hannover, Germany
*Present address: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Mahanakorn University of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand **Corresponding author. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: The tissue response of common carp Cyprinus carpio to the kinetoplastid blood parasite Trypanoplasma borreli Laveran & Mesnil, 1901 was investigated during a laboratory infection of a highly susceptible carp line. With the development of the parasitaemia an increased proliferation of the lymphoid renal interstitial tissue was induced, which resulted in a progressive depression and deterioration of renal tubules. In heavily infected carp at Days 20 to 28 post inoculation (PI), a tubulonephrosis, a glomerulitis caused by a massive accumulation of leukocytes in glomerular capillaries, and large numbers of trypanoplasms in blood vessels and renal interstitium were observed. Corresponding with rising T. borreli numbers in the peripheral blood, splenic lymphocytes showed increasing proliferation rates, and the capillaries of the liver, gills, heart and intestine were infiltrated with lymphocytes and trypanoplasms. In heavily infected carp, congestion of liver sinusoids, focal necroses of hepatic tissue, extensive accumulations of erythrocytes in the spleen and in the blood marked anaemia were observed. These carp often showed abdominal distension, exophthalmus and swimming disorders described as 'sleeping sickness of carp'. Proliferation of cells from the interstitial lymphoid tissue of the kidney, which bears a close resemblance to the bone marrow of higher vertebrates, is considered a normal immune response of fish to antigen challenge. We here describe the unique case of a severe but ineffective immune reaction which results in the destruction of excretory renal structures. This has to be considered a severe disturbance of osmoregulation in affected carp, which, together with a decrease in oxygen uptake due to anaemia, is likely a major cause of death in these carp.

KEY WORDS: Trypanoplasma borreli · Cyprinus carpio · Nephritis · Histopathology

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