DAO prepress abstract  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03386

Histological and hematological alterations of silver catfish Rhamdia quelen highly parasitized by Lernaea cyprinacea

William Eduardo Furtado*, Lucas Cardoso, Aline Brum Figueredo, Natalia da Costa Marchiori, Maurício Laterça Martins

*Email: we.furtado@hotmail.com

ABSTRACT: The main objective of this study was to evaluate the histological and hematological alterations of silver catfish Rhamdia quelen (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824) against intense parasitism by anchor worm Lernaea cyprinacea Linnaeus, 1758. Thirteen fish specimens were collected at the Fish Genetic Improvement Unit (EPAGRI/CEDAP), Brazil. After acclimatization, the fish were anesthetized for blood collection, and the samples were used for counting thrombocytes, total leukocytes, differential leukocytes and for quantification of total erythrocytes. Afterward, the animals were euthanized, the parasites removed and quantified, and the portions of the affected tegument fixed in 10% buffered formalin. All the analyzed animals were parasitized by L. cyprinacea with mean intensity of 192 specimens per fish. The hematological profile of the animals was different from that reported for healthy fish. Immature leukocytes were the most abundant cells, followed by monocytes, lymphocytes, neutrophils, and periodic acid-Schiff-positive granular leukocytes (PAS-GL). Neutrophils were present in a smaller number in the bloodstream of parasitized fish, while histological examination evidenced the accumulation of this cell type near the place of infection by the parasite. Total leukocytes correlated significantly and positively (r = 0.6, p = 0.030) with the intensity of L. cyprinacea infection and the fish weight. Histological changes included hemorrhage, liquefactive necrosis and connective tissue disarrangement, necrosis, granulomatous inflammation, mononuclear and polynuclear inflammation, as well as hyperplasia and hypertrophy of the alarm and mucous cells. The intensity of infection by L. cyprinacea caused deleterious changes both in the hematological profile and the integument of R. quelen, confirming the pathogenic potential of this parasite to the affected fish species.