Parasites

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A Nematomorpha spp emerging from the mouth of red-spotted masu salmon.
Common carp parasitized by Bothriocephalus acheilognathus
Neon Tetra disease in the dorsal skeletal muscle
Spironucleus vortens, a diplomonad flagellate from the intestine of a freshwater angelfish, 1000X. Courtesy of Dr. Sarah Poynton
A channel catfish with small bumps and inflammation on its tailfin, which indicate the presence of Bolbophorus confusus flatworms beneath the skin.

The term parasitism may be defined as a two-species association in which one species, the parasite, lives on or in a second species, the host, for a significant period of its life and obtains nourishment from it. Successful treatment and control of parasitic diseases requires not only comprehensive information about the parasite itself but also a good understanding of the nature of parasites' interactions with their hosts. The protozoa, arthropods and helminths are traditionally defined as parasites. However, there are members of the scientific community who designate all infectious agents of animals as parasites including viruses, protozoa, bacteria and fungi as well as the arthropods, helminths and protozoa. Within this broad definition, parasites are further divided into microparasites and macroparasites. The following subsections summarizes the common parasites of fish.

Nematodes (Roundworms)

- Philometra spp - red worm disease
- Capillaria spp - angel fish worm
- Anisakis simplex - Japanese round worm
  • Acanthocephalans
- Acanthocephalus spp - thorny-headed worms
- Echinorhynchus spp
- Pseudoterranova spp - cod worm
  • Miscellaneous
- Anguillicola crassus, Nematomorpha spp, Camallanus lacustris, Capillaria salvelini, Cucullanus truttae, Cystidicola farionis, Cystidicoloides tenuissima, Haplonema tenerrimum, Philometra rischta, Philonema sp., Raphidascaris acus, R. cristata, Rhabdochona denudata, R. salvelini, Skrjabillanus tincae, Spinitectus inermis

Cestodes (Tapeworms)

- Diphyllobothrium spp - broad fish and salmon tapeworms
- Proteocephalus spp - bass tapeworm
- Bothriocephalus spp - asian tapeworm
- Nybelinia spp

Trematodes (Flukes)

- Gonapodasmius spp
- Metagonimus yokogawai - black spot disease
- Bolbophorus confusus - catfish fluke

Monogeneans (Flatworm)

- Gyrodactylus spp, Dactylogyrus spp, Cleidodiscus spp
- Neobenedenia spp, Benedenia spp - skin flukes
- Tetraonchus awakurai. Anoplodiscus tai, Bivagina tai

Protozoa

  • Ciliates (Motile)
- Ichthyophonus hoferi, Tetrahymena spp, Cryptocaryon irritans
- Chilodonella spp, Trichodina spp, Hexamita spp, Spironucleus spp
- Ichthyophthirius multifiliis - Ich - white spot disease
  • Ciliates (Sessile)
- Ambiphrya, Apiosoma, Capriniana, Epistylis
  • Flagellates
- Cryptobia spp, Trypanosoma spp, Ichthyobodo (Costia), Protoopalina spp, Spironucleus spp, Amyloodinium spp
- Myxosoma cerebralis, Enteromyxum leei
- Henneguya spp, Kudoa spp
- Sphaerospora spp - fish dropsy
  • Microsporidians
- Pleistophora ovariae, Kabatana takedai
- Pleistophora hyphessobryconis - Neon tetra disease
- Ichthyosporidium spp - Neon fish disease
- Glugea plecoglossi, Loma branchialis
- Microsporidium seriolae - Beko disease

Lice

Crustaceans

- Argulus spp, Isopods, Clavella perfida, Haemobaphes spp
- Margaritifera laevis - Glochidium bivalve molluscs
- Salmincola spp, Rocinela maculata
- Ergasilus zacconis - gill copepod
- Lernaea cyprinacea - anchor worm

Further reading

Japanese Database of Fish Parasites