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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 95:217-224 (2011)  -  DOI:

Efficacy of quinine against ichthyophthiriasis in common carp Cyprinus carpio

Ilka V. Schumacher1, Helmut Wedekind1, Mansour El-Matbouli2,3,*

1Bavarian State Research Centre for Agriculture, Institute for Fisheries, 82319 Starnberg, Germany
2Fish Medicine and Livestock Management, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine, 1210 Vienna, Austria
3Department of Zoology and Parasitology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Ichthyophthiriasis, caused by Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, is an economically important worldwide parasitic disease that infects all freshwater fish. Since the banning of malachite green for use in food fish, there has been a great need for alternative therapeutants. The goal of this study was to investigate the efficacy of quinine against I. multifiliis. Parasite developmental stages from our laboratory-established life cycle in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss were exposed to quinine in vitro, and a dual fluorescent staining technique was used to allow a clear distinction between viable and damaged parasites. Furthermore, the effect of quinine was assessed in vivo by oral administration and intraperitoneal injections in common carp Cyprinus carpio. The results of the in vitro experiments proved quinine to be effective against the parasite. Quinine injected at a dosage of 60 mg kg–1 body weight resulted in a significantly lower number of trophonts. In contrast, in-feed trials did not show a significant reduction of trophonts after treatment commencing 1 d after infection with concentrations of up to 20 g quinine kg–1 feed for 3 d. After a 14-d treatment at concentrations of up to 10 g quinine kg–1 feed prior to theront exposure, there was also no significant difference in parasite numbers between treated and control groups. The results of oral versus parenteral application of quinine indicate that the substance is not completely absorbed from the intestinal tract of common carp. However, medicated feed containing higher concentrations of quinine was less readily accepted by the fish, presumably due to the bitter taste.

KEY WORDS: Quinine · Therapy · Ichthyophthiriasis · Ichthyophthirius multifiliis · Medicated feed · Cyprinus carpio

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Cite this article as: Schumacher IV, Wedekind H, El-Matbouli M (2011) Efficacy of quinine against ichthyophthiriasis in common carp Cyprinus carpio. Dis Aquat Org 95:217-224.

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