Localization of the initial developmental stages of ...

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Title Localization of the initial developmental stages of Loma salmonae in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Author(s) J. G. Sanchez, David J. Speare, R. J. Frederick Markham, Glenda M. Wright, Frederick S. B. Kibenge
Journal Veterinary Pathology
Date 2001
Volume 38
Issue 5
Start page 540
End page 546
Abstract The intracellular microsporidian parasite Loma salmonae affects salmonids of the genus Oncorhynchus and is a significant cause of economic losses in pen-reared Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) in British Columbia. Loma salmonae infection is easily recognized by the xenomas that form in the gills, but early stages of infection are difficult to detect in histologic sections. In situ hybridization (ISH), using an L. salmonae-specific digoxigenin-labeled single-stranded DNA probe, was used to detect the parasite during the early stages of infection. Loma salmonae was detected in the gut mucosal epithelium as early as 24 hours postexposure (PE), and it localized in the lamina propria of the intestine within 24 hours of infection. After the parasite was detected in the lamina propria, dividing merogonic stages in infected cells in the heart were detected by ISH as early as 2 days PE, providing the first evidence of parasitaemia and hematogenous distribution of this parasite in infected blood cells. The parasites inside the infected cells appeared to be undergoing merogony as they passed through the heart, indicating that proliferation may start at the site of infection, before the parasite arrives to the gills for their final developmental phase. This is the first time that L. salmonae passage through the intestinal wall and migration to the heart has been visualized; however, the identity of the cells harboring the parasite has yet to be determined.

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