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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

    DAO prepress abstract   -  DOI:

    Lepeophtheirus (Copepoda: Caligidae), associated with fish: global infection patterns, parasite–host interactions and geographic range

    Marcos Tavares-Dias*, Marcos Sidney Brito Oliveira

    *Corresponding author:

    ABSTRACT: Lepeophtheirus Nordmann, 1832, is a genus of sea lice that have been reported to cause parasitic disease problems for fish farming and the fishery industry. This first global investigation on Lepeophtheirus species associated with fish and infestation patterns, parasite–host interactions and geographic ranges linked to these ectoparasites covered articles published from 1940 to 2022. The total of 481 samples of Lepeophtheirus spp. comprised 49 species of these ectoparasites and were found parasitizing 100 teleost fish species from 46 families and 15 orders. Globally, a total of 9 Lepeophtheirus species were found in farmed fish (1 species occurred only in farmed fish and 8 species in both farmed and wild fish) and 48 in wild fish. The highest numbers of occurrences of Lepeophtheirus were in Serranidae and Pleuronectidae. Lepeophtheirus pectoralis and Lepeophtheirus salmonis were the species with widest geographic distribution. Host specificity was an important factor in the geographic distribution of L. salmonis. Most of the parasite species showed specificity for host fish families, as well as specificity for geographic regions. Little is known about many Lepeophtheirus species compared to the economical important L. salmonis. This could be an obstacle to develop improved management control strategies for the parasite at the fish farming industry, as well as the diminishing capacities on parasite taxonomy in many regions.