First record of chilodonella hexasticha (ciliophora: Chilodonellidae) in brazilian cultured fish: A morphological and pathological assessment
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Chilodonelids are small ciliated protozoans found worldwide and can be dangerous in culture conditions. This study presents morphometric data on the ciliate Chilodonella that is found in cultured Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), native bait fish tuvira (Gymnotus aff. inaequilabiatus) and native pacu (Piaractus mesopotamicus) and includes a histopathological assessment of the changes that occur in the pacu. For parasitic diagnosis, skin and gill samples were scraped onto slides, dried at room temperature, stained with Giemsa or impregnated with silver nitrate, and the measurements were obtained from photomicrographs. In the diseased pacu, the first gill arch was collected and fixed in a 10% buffered formalin solution for histopathological analysis. Parasite specimens from the different collection sites were identified morphologically as C. hexasticha Kiernik (1909). Diseased fish exhibited depigmentation, skin ulceration, scale loss, excessive mucus production and gill lesions. Histopathological analysis of pacu gills displayed epithelial proliferation with mononuclear inflammatory infiltrate, hemorrhages, and scattering necrosis. In Brazilian-farmed fish this is the first record of C. hexasticha, which has great pathogenic potential in cultured freshwater species. In addition, two new hosts are presented. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.