Effects of sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis Kroyer, ...

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Title Effects of sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis Kroyer, 1837) infestation on macrophage functions in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)
Author(s) A. Mustafa, C. MacWilliams, N. Fernandez, K. Matchett, Gary A. Conboy, John F. Burka
Journal Fish & Shellfish Immunology
Date 2000
Volume 10
Issue 1
Start page 47
End page 59
Abstract Experiments were conducted to determine the effects of sea lice, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, on non-specific defence mechanisms in Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, by experimentally infesting hatchery-reared 1 and 2 year old post-smolts, S1 and S2, with laboratory grown infective copepodids at moderate to high infection intensities ranging from 15-285 lice per fish. The effects of sea lice-induced stress were investigated by measuring the blood levels of cortisol and glucose as indicators of primary and secondary stress responses, and by changes in macrophage respiratory burst activity and phagocytosis as indicators of tertiary stress responses as well as non-specific defence mechanisms. Fish were sampled prior to sea lice infestation at day 0 and at days 3, 7, 14 and 21 post-infestation. Sea lice were at copepodid stage at day 3, at chalimus stages at days 7 and 14, and at pre-adult stage at day 21. Blood levels of cortisol and glucose were found to be significantly increased at day 21 in fish-infested with the highest levels. Macrophage respiratory burst and phagocytic activities were found to be significantly decreased only at day 21. These results indicate that sea lice do not suppress host defence mechanisms during the earlier stages of infestation. They do have effects on the development of chronic stress and on the host non-specific defence mechanisms soon after the lice reach the pre-adult stage.
DOI 10.1006/fsim.1999.0229

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