n African Zoology - Aspects of the pathology of (Copepoda : Lernaeidae) on gills of from the Vaal River system, South Africa

Volume 40, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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<I>Lamproglena clariae&lt;/I&gt; attaches to gill filaments of <I>Clarias gariepinus</I>, penetrates the gill tissue and consumes blood. Hence, the purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanical damage caused by this parasite on gill filaments of the host. Infestation intensity and haematocrit values of fish blood were determined and correlated. Fish were killed, gills dissected out and observed with a dissection microscope. Gill filaments with adult females <I>in situ&lt;/I&gt; were fixed in a solution of alcohol, formaldehyde and acetic acid and preserved in 70% ethanol. Fixed specimens were studied by histological examination following staining with Heidenhein's azan solution. Gross morphology revealed varying degrees of swelling of gill filaments near the attached specimens of <I>L. clariae</I>. Epithelial hyperplasia, resulting in fusion of gill lamellae and necrosis of the host tissue in the vicinity of the parasite were revealed through histological examination. No correlation was evident between the infestation intensity and fish haematocrit values. Although results showed that <I>L. clariae&lt;/I&gt; causes localized infestation, high intensity of infestation may be detrimental to the fish. Hyperplasia of epithelial tissue resulting in fusion of lamellae would result in restriction of air passages and thus hinder the process of respiration of the host.

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