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Fish Parasite and


Parasitic Disease
The term parasitic is a general
term which can include any
micro organism, but in fish
pathology it is often restricted
to protozoan (single cell) micro
organisms, nematodes
monogenetic or digenetic
trematodes, or parasitic
Bodies of inland water such as
lakes ponds streams, rivers,
swamps, etc can be characterized
by their parasitic. Ecologically,
parasites of fishes are often
limited to particular species of
fish. Their environment is
characterized to a considerable
extent by the particular hosts to
which they are associated.
Environmental factors external of
the fish host play a major role in
the survival and success of its
parasite to parasites.
Sunlight, temperature, pH,
salinity, oxygen are some of the
important hysico-chemical factors.
For example a moderate gill
infestation with the parasites
ichthyophthirius may be tolerated
well if the oxygen level is below

Similarly high levels of ammonia,
extremes of pH, or low level
toxicants may compound the
damage already caused by the
parasites. Regarding biotic
factors, predators, intermediate
hosts, food habits, improper
waste disposed are necessary for
transmission. Frequently these
environmental stressors play a
deciding role in the out come of a
particular disease.
Parasitic Crustaceans
Parasite- Learnaea (anchor worn)
Hosts- silver carp, common carptilapa
Description- the females if these
parasites have a long body with
anchor like appendages at the heads.
It reaches a length of about 20mm, not
including the appendages. By means
of their appendages the adult females
parasite sticks to the fish. The males
do not attack fish and is rather
different in shape.
Transmission- Reproduction of the
parasite takes place in may, two egg
sacs are formed at the end of the
females body which reach a length of
about 3mm from the eggs so called
nauplius larvae hatch. The larvae
swim freely through the water for
some time till they med a fish. The
adults still preying in their host die at
the end of may, leaving large holes
with round opening in the muscles and
skin of the fish.
Sign- There is usually a servere
inflammatory reaction at the
attachment site and secondary or
fungal infection is common and in
many cases may be the cause of
death. Heavily infection fish quickly
lose their stamina and strength. If the
parasites attack near nerve centers,
such as the brain or lateral line the fish
may exhibit abnormal behavior.
Control- since the anchor penetrates
deep under the skin into muscles, the
fish becomes badly injured. It is
impossible to remove the parasites
simple by means of forceps; in doing
this serious wounds would be caused
open to bacteria and fungus infection.
Such treatment would be worse than
effect of the attacks of the parasites.
Parasite- Argulus (fish louse)
Hosts- Japanese ornamental carp
Description- The fish louse is a
flattened creature, about as large as a
water flea. The little animals has eight
legs, with which it can swim through
the water, and a small fish-like rail
which acts like a rubber. The
reproduction and breathing organs are
situated in the rail. There are too large
suckers for attaching to the skin of its
Transmission- The fish louse can only
be introduced into aquaria with
supplies of daphnia or other living
food, obtained from water in which
fishes are present.There is but a very
small chance of capturing a free
swimming fish louse, since this is only
possible if this parasite is in search of
a new host or if it has left its host for
the purpose of reproduction.
Sign- Through its piercing organ it inject
a toxic substance, causing secondary
severe irritation and scores, and may
carry bacteria thus causing secondary
infection fungi may also secondarily
infect the wounds.
Control- As the fish louse is quite a large
creature the parasites may be removed
easily by means of a pair of forceps its
you take the fish in your hand. If there
are two many of them they can be
removed by rubbing over the skin of the
fish always going from the heads to the
Parasite- Ichthyophthirius
Host- Milkfish tilapia
Description- The organism may be round
or near round. Occasionally a cl- shaped
nucleus can be observed. Small pear
shaped forms seen only with the
microscope are invasive forms called
tomites the body bears a large number
of cilia over the whole surface areas by
the movement of which the parasite can
swim through the water and penetrate
into the skin of a fish. It has a tubular
mouth, several vacuoles and a large
Transmission- the nature, which is
seemed as a white spot, is encysted
just under the skin of the fish.
Eventually the adult parasite leaves
the fish and becomes a free swimming
form for about 5,2-6 hr, after which
time it attaches to any suitable
substance (rocks, plants). The cyst
them undergoes multiple fissions
forming young forms called tomites.
Large adult forms have produced up
to 2000 tomites. The development of
nature tomites can be completed
within 12 hr to 25 c.
Sign- The disease cause by this
parasite is called ichtyophthiriasis. It is
also called white spot or ich
characterized by the appearance of
greater or smaller number of spots
of a white or grayish color. Each spot
is in reality or small bladder,
containing one or more parasites that
are rotating in lively fashion.
Control- Treatment of the
ichthyophthirius is difficult because of
the variability of the time and
completion of the life cycle. One
successful method is to place the fish
in shallow, swiftly moving water,
removing dead fish promptly and
sweeping the bottom of the raceways
or ponds daily. This method removes
the nonencysted trophozoites as they
leave the fish as well as tomites.
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