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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 50:45-49 (2002)  -  doi:10.3354/dao050045

Observations on associated histopathology with Aggregata octopiana infection (Protista: Apicomplexa) in Octopus vulgaris

C. Gestal*, E. Abollo, S. Pascual

Area de Parasitología. Grupo FEPMAR-PB2, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Vigo, Apartado 874, 36200 Vigo, Spain
*Present address: Grupo Ecobiomar, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas (CSIC), Eduardo Cabello 6, 36208, Vigo, Spain. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: Gamogony and sporogony of Aggregata octopiana were commonly observed during histological examination of the digestive tract of wild Octopus vulgaris from Ría de Vigo (NW Spain). A. octopiana infected noncuticularized caecum and intestine, and cuticularized oesophagus and crop. Infection was also observed in the gills and in covering mesenterium, mainly of the digestive gland and gonad. Histological and ultrastructural lesions associated with A. octopiana included host cell hypertrophy with nuclear displacement, inflammation, phagocytosis, ulceration and destruction of organ architecture. The possible existence of a malabsorption syndrome in the host is deduced.

KEY WORDS: Apicomplexa · Aggregata octopiana · Octopus vulgaris · Digestive tract · Histopathology · Defense mechanisms

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