First report of Myxobolus sp infection in the skeletal muscle of Neotropical freshwater fish Piaractus mesopotamicus
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Although there are several reports of Myxobolus species infecting the somatic muscle of teleost fish, species of this genus have not been described parasitizing the muscle tissue of pacus, Piaractus mesopotamicus. This study presented the first report of natural infection by Myxobolus sp. in the skeletal muscle of pacus reared in intensive system. Twenty-one fish (+/- 142.2 g; +/- 23.1 cm) were captured (April 2013) from an intensive fish farm in So Paulo State, southeast Brazil. Spores of Myxobolus sp. were contained within plasmodia and showed oval morphology with the apical portion slightly pyriform and two polar capsules pyriform retaining the same ratio to each other. In the histopathological study, the skeletal muscle do not present signs of inflammation. The integrity of myofibrils within the infected fibers showed some degree of degeneration, with partial loss of myofibrillar details and striations. Spores were found infecting the skeletal muscle of 18 fish (85.7 %). Finally, the high prevalence of Myxobolus sp. infection in the skeletal muscle of P. mesopotamicus and the absence of macroscopic lesions in the muscle tissue indicate the necessity of more meticulous examinations during the health management in the rearing system and at slaughter of pacus to ensure best quality of meat.