Folia Parasitologica, vol. 51 (2004), issue 2/3

Folia Parasitologica 51[2/3] 263-267 (2004) | DOI: 10.14411/fp.2004.031

Homing of Gyrodactylus salaris and G. derjavini (Monogenea) on different hosts and response post-attachment

Kurt Buchmann, Kenneth K. Madsen, Michael B. Dalgaard
Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Section of Fish Diseases, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Stigbøjlen 4, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C., Denmark

In natural European waters, the congeneric monogeneans Gyrodactylus derjavini Mikailov, 1975 and G. salaris Malmberg, 1957 are primarily found on brown trout Salmo trutta L. and Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L., respectively. Interestingly, rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum), originating from North America, is as susceptible as brown trout to G. derjavini. However, the mechanisms involved in this host specificity are poorly understood but may include behavioural, mechanical and chemical factors affecting parasite attraction, attachment, feeding, reproduction and host responses. In the present laboratory work, this question has been studied. Detached parasites (either G. derjavini or G. salaris) were offered a choice in small aquaria between fry of rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon and carp Cyprinus carpio L. Within 48 hours more than 90% of G. derjavini colonised rainbow trout and left salmon almost uninfected. Some parasites were found on carp. During the same time span, more than 60% of G. salaris attached to salmon, the rest infected rainbow trout and none were found on carp. Following attachment, the parasites need appropriate stimuli to initiate feeding and reproduction but even such a successful specific colonisation can be followed by a host response. Both humoral and cellular elements have been suggested to participate in these reactions but in the present work it was demonstrated by immunoblotting and immunocytochemistry that no antibodies in host mucus and host plasma bound to any parasite structures or epitopes.

Keywords: salmonids, Gyrodactylus, host specificity, colonisation, host response

Received: November 28, 2003; Accepted: April 27, 2004; Published: June 1, 2004


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