Folia Parasitologica 51[2/3] 263-267 (2004) | DOI: 10.14411/fp.2004.031
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.
Received: November 28, 2003; Accepted: April 27, 2004; Published: June 1, 2004