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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 48:37-42 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/dao048037

Portals of entry and systemic localization of proliferative gill disease organisms in channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus

Adrien M. G. Belem*, Linda M. Pote**

College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762, USA
*Present address: 01 BP 4626 Ouagadougou 01, Burkina Faso, West Africa **Corresponding author. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: Immunized rabbit serum adsorbed in live catfish was used in indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) to detect developmental life stages of Henneguya ictaluri n. sp. This myxozoan parasite is associated with proliferative gill disease in channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus (Rafinesque) in the USA. Specific pathogen free fingerlings were experimentally infected with the actinosporean stage of H. ictaluri and necropsied 24, 48, 72, and 96 h post-infection. At 24 h post-infection parasite stages were observed primarily in the gastric mucosa and submucosa but were also observed in the skin and buccal cavity. Ovoid organisms were detected in heart and blood vessels of the liver. From 48 to 72 h after exposure, fewer fluorescent organisms were located in all organs, with the exception of the gills, than were observed at 24 h. These organisms appeared to be degenerating except for those in the gills, which appeared to be multinucleated. By 96 h post-infection, the organisms could not be detected in fish tissues with the exception of the stages in the gills, which appeared to be a preferred site of development. Throughout the entire 96 h period of study, no stage of the organism was detected in the brain. Infected tissue sections treated with non-immune rabbit serum and non-infected tissue sections treated with immune rabbit sera all showed negative results by IFAT.

KEY WORDS: Proliferative gill disease · PGD ·Aurantiactinomyxon ictaluri · Henneguya ictaluri n. sp. · Myxozoa · Actinosporean · Myxosporean · Polyclonal antibodies

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