Dolops carvalhoi as a vector of Epistylis sp. Between cultivated and wild specimens of Oreochromis niloticus in brazil
Dolops carvalhoi como vetor de Epistylis sp. Entre espécimes cultivados e silvestres de Oreochromis niloticus no Brasil
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Epistyliasis has been characterized as an emergent disease which has a great impact on fish farms, especially on Oreochromis niloticus production systems. Although epidemiological important, information about the dispersion of these parasites and their mechanical vectors is scarce. The present study reported the cooccurrence of Epistylis sp. as an epibiont of Dolops carvalhoi, a parasitic crustacean of cultivated/wild specimens (from accidental release) of O. niloticus from a cage fish farm area in the Ilha Solteira Reservoir, Grande River, SP, Brazil. The co-occurrence of Epistylis sp. and D. carvalhoi, and their epibiont relationship registered in this study suppose that the Epistylis may use the crustaceans for dispersion and as mechanical vectors for the dissemination of diseases in wild and cultivated hosts. Moreover, exchange of parasites between wild and cultivated hosts is possible, considering both organisms (protozoan and argulid). Furthermore, the results of the present study demonstrate the need to monitor the areas adjacent to cage fish farms as a preventive measure for the dispersion of pathogens. This is the first report of epibiosis between Epistylis sp. and argulid parasites of cultivated and wild O. niloticus, contributing to knowledge about host-parasite specificity, geographical distribution, dispersion of etiological agents and epidemiology in aquaculture.