Transmission of the microsporidian gill parasite, ...



Title Transmission of the microsporidian gill parasite, Loma salmonae
Author(s) Joy A. Becker, David J. Speare
Journal Animal Health Research Reviews
Date 2007
Volume 8
Issue 1
Start page 59
End page 68
Abstract Since it was first reported in 1987 at a hatchery in British Columbia, Loma salmonae has become increasingly important as an emerging parasite affecting the Canadian salmonid aquaculture industry. L. salmonae causes Microsporidial Gill Disease of Salmon (MGDS) in farmed Pacific salmonids, Oncorhynchus spp., resulting in respiratory distress, secondary infections and high mortality rates. In the last decade, laboratory studies have identified key transmission factors for this disease and described the pathogenesis of MGDS. L. salmonae enters the host via the gut, where it injects sporoplasm into a host cell, which then migrates to the heart for a two-week merogony-like phase, followed by a macrophage-mediated transport of the parasite to the gill, with a final development stage of a spore-laden xenoma within the endothelial and pillar cells. Xenoma rupture triggers a cascade of inflammatory events leading to severe, persistent, and extensive proliferative branchitis. The development of robust and reliable experimental challenge models using several exposure methods in marine and freshwater environments with several fish hosts, is a primary reason for the success of scientific research surrounding L. salmonae. To date, demonstrated factors affecting MGDS transmission include host species, strain and size, the length of contact time between naive and infected fish, water temperature and flow rates.

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