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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

    DAO prepress abstract   -  DOI:

    Challenge for macrophages and mast cells of Chelon ramada to counter an intestinal microparasite, Myxobolus mugchelo (Myxozoa)

    B. Sayyaf Dezfuli*, G. Castaldelli, R. Tomaini, M. Manera, J. A. DePasquale, G. Bosi

    *Corresponding author:

    ABSTRACT: Thinlip mullet Chelon ramada is the most abundant mullet species found in the Comacchio lagoons (northern Adriatic Sea, Italy). Histological and ultrastructural sections of the intestine of C. ramada showed that over 83% of 48 mullets were infected with the intestinal parasite Myxobolus mugchelo (Myxozoa). In histological sections, plasmodia of M. mugchelo containing mature spores were situated closer to mucosal folds and were surrounded by numerous mast cells (MCs). Mature spores, generally oval in shape, were observed in the paracellular space among the enterocytes or within them. Near the infected epithelial cells, several MCs, rodlet cells and few neutrophils occurred. In intestinal epithelium, large cells, some with spores of M. mugchelo inside, resembling macrophages were noticed. These macrophage-like cells were foamy and possessed elongate striated granules. The number of MCs and macrophages in the intestinal epithelium was significantly higher in parasitized fish. In some parasitized intestine, portions of epithelium were displaced by spores, or the spores were observed inside the damaged enterocytes. Immunohistochemical analysis of C. ramada infected or uninfected intestinal tissue revealed the presence of histamine, serotonin (5-HT), leu-enkephalin, and inducible-nitric oxide synthase (i-NOS) in epithelial macrophages. Several epithelial cells positive to proliferating cell-nuclear antigen (PCNA) were also observed in the proximity of the macrophages. The current study is the first to record the occurrence of intraepithelial macrophages which engulf myxozoan spore. A hypothesis on migration of spores from pancreas via intestinal wall to gut lumen will be provided.