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Metazoan Parasites of Bleak (Alburnus alburnus), Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius) and Golden Carp (Carassius auratus) in Enne Dam Lake, Turkey



Mustafa Koyun and F. Naci Altunel
 
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ABSTRACT

Three species of fish, namely bleak (Alburnus alburnus), Crucian carp (Carassius carassius) and golden carp (Carassius auratus) were collected from Enne Dam Lake (Turkey) and examined for parasitic infections. The most common fish species was A. alburnus followed by C. carassius and C. auratus. Three species of Monogenea (Dactylogyrus fraternus, Dactylogyrus alatus and Paradiplozoon homoion) were recorded from the gills of A. alburnus whilst the monogeneans Dactylogyrus anchoratus and Gyrodactylus katherineri and the nematode Contracaecum sp. were found infecting C. carassius and C. auratus. There was a significant positive correlation between fish length, fish weight and infection rate in Crucian carp. However, no clear correlation existed between length, weight and parasite infections in bleak. In addition, a significant negative correlation was found between water temperature and Contracaecum sp. infections in golden carp.

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Mustafa Koyun and F. Naci Altunel , 2007. Metazoan Parasites of Bleak (Alburnus alburnus), Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius) and Golden Carp (Carassius auratus) in Enne Dam Lake, Turkey. International Journal of Zoological Research, 3: 94-100.

DOI: 10.3923/ijzr.2007.94.100

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=ijzr.2007.94.100

INTRODUCTION

Helminth parasites of fishes represent an important component of freshwater ecosystems and in some cases are recognized as fish pathogens (Wyatt and Kennedy, 1989). Host mortality as a result of these infections is due to the complex interaction of many inter-related factors including parasite population dynamics and the presence of other disease agents. Poor environmental conditions may exacerbate the effect of disease leading to host mortality (Brown, 1989). In addition to direct mortality effects, sub lethal pathogenic effects are also recognized such as destruction of gill lamellae in Diplozoon infections of bream (Kagel and Taraschewski, 1993). There have been numerous surveys of helminth parasites of freshwater fish worldwide and there has been an increasing trend recently to incorporate ecological principles to the study of these important parasites (Kennedy, 1974; Chubb, 1977; Altunel, 1979; Molnar and Jalali, 1992; Gelnar et al., 1994). However, few studies have considered the relationship between biological parameters of the host and parasite success. (Dence, 1957; Kennedy, 1974).

Six fish species have been recorded in the Enne Dam Lake, namely Alburnus alburnus (bleak), Carassius carassius (Crucian carp), Carassius auratus (golden carp), Barbus plebejus (Italian barbel), Leuscius cephalus (chub) and Nemacheilus sp. (loach).

The current paper reports on the first study of the parasite fauna of three non-native fish species (bleak, Curician carp and goldfish), from the Enne Dam Lake in Turkey and provides data on the correlations between parasite infection rates and fish length and weight.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Enne Dam Lake is 15 km northwest of Kutahya and is fed by a geothermal water source called Yoncali and two other smaller streams. Fish were caught at six stations in the Enne Dam Lake at monthly intervals in two years between January and February, using seine and dip nets and transported live back to the laboratory in water from the locality. Fish species were identified according to Geldiay and Balik (1988).

Fish were killed by a sharp blow to the head, followed by exsanguinations and total fish length (to the nearest mm) and total weight (to nearest gram) for each individual fish were recorded. Gills were removed and examined for the presence of monogeneans. Parasites were either removed from the gills to allow speciation or fixed in neutral buffered formalin, whilst still attached to the gill filaments. Some of them were fixed in glacial acetic acid and stored in 70% ethanol and then stained with Mayer’s haematoxylin. The intestine tract (from oesophagus to vent) was removed and transverse sections were taken. The sections were examined for the presence of endoparasites with a stereomicroscope. Parasite numbers were enumerated and stored in 70% ethanol for further examination. Parasites were identified according to the keys of Bychovskaya-Pavlovskaya (1962) and Bauer (1965). The measure of level of infection used was prevalence, defined as the number of fish infected by a particular parasite species divided by the total number of fish in the sample, expressed as a percentage.

Correlation test was applied on the values of % parasite prevalence, fish length, fish weight and water temperature to define the relation between % parasite prevalence and other parameters namely fish length, fish weight and water temperature for each parasite species (Little and Hills, 1978).

RESULTS

Six fish species were caught during the survey namely A. alburnus, C. carassius, C. auratus, Barbus plebejus escherichi, Leuscius cephalus and Nemacheilus sp. The most abundant species was Alburnus alburnus in the lake followed by C. carassius and C. auratus, while other species were rarely caught in the lake.

A total of 341 A. alburnus, 117 C. carassius and 81 C. auratus were examined for their parasites in this study. A. alburnus were infected with the monogeneans Dactylogyrus fraternus, D. alatus and Paradiplozoon homoion and C. carassius and C. auratus were parasitised by D. anchoratus (Monogenea), Gyrodactylus katherineri (Monogenea) and Contracaecum sp. (Nematoda) (Table 1). In addition, Allocreadium isoporum (Digenea) and Pomphorhynchus laevis (Acanthocephala) were found in bleak, c. carp, goldfish and loach in low numbers. These data are not included in the analysis. Overall, 36.3% of the bleak were infected with at least one parasite species, with 22.6% of the Carassius sp. infected with at least one parasite. The most prevalent parasite was D. fraternus which was found in 50% of the bleak throughout the sampling period. It was found, however, at prevalence of up to 70% during month/year. G. katherineri was the most prevalent parasite in C. auratus and C. carassius at prevalence of 38 and 37%, respectively. Contracaecum sp. was found at the lowest prevalence overall at 2 and 6% in C. carassius and C. auratutus, respectively. However, in one sample, Contracaecum sp. was found at a prevalence of 50% during month/year in C. carassius.

There were several significant positive correlations between fish length, fish weight and parasite prevalence in Carassius sp. (Table 2). In particular, in C. carassius there was a positive correlation between length and D. anchoratus prevalence (p<0.05), between length and Contracaecum sp. prevalence (p<0.01) and between weight and D. anchoratus prevalence (p<0.05), between weight and G. katherineri prevalence (p<0.01) and between weight and Contracaecum sp. prevalence (p<0.01). In addition, in C. auratus there was positive correlation between length and D. anchoratus prevalence (p<0.05), between length and Contracaecum sp. prevalence (p<0.05), between weight and D. anchoratus prevalence (p<0.05), between weight and Contracaecum sp. prevalence (p<0.05) andnegative correlations between water temperature and Contracaecum sp. prevalence (p<0.05).

Table 1: Infection rate of the fishes, according to fish weight and length. Values in the table are mean of the measurements of two years
Image for - Metazoan Parasites of Bleak (Alburnus alburnus), Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius) and Golden Carp (Carassius auratus) in Enne Dam Lake, Turkey
*Total number of examined fish, (-) No infection

No significant correlations were shown with parasite prevalence and length, weight and water temperature in bleak samples.

There was no significant correlation between water temperature and prevalence except infections of C. auratus by Contracaecum sp. (Table 2 and 3). For example, the prevalence of D. fraternus in A. alburnus is 77% in March when the water temperature was 5.5 and 76% in June when the water temperature was 17°C. Thus, almost no differences between winter and summer water temperatures were found in respect to infection rate of the fishes (Fig. 1).

Table 2: Correlations of percent fish infection with fish weight, fish length and water temperature in A. alburnus, C. carassius and C. auratus species with respect to several parasite species
Image for - Metazoan Parasites of Bleak (Alburnus alburnus), Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius) and Golden Carp (Carassius auratus) in Enne Dam Lake, Turkey
**Correlation coefficient, significant at 0.01 levels, * Correlation coefficient, significant at 0.05 levels

Image for - Metazoan Parasites of Bleak (Alburnus alburnus), Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius) and Golden Carp (Carassius auratus) in Enne Dam Lake, Turkey
Fig. 1: Infection rates of A. alburnus by the parasites depending on water temperatures. Values are mean of two years

Table 3: Infection rate of fishes, according to water temperature in a year. Values in the table are mean of the measurements of two years
Image for - Metazoan Parasites of Bleak (Alburnus alburnus), Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius) and Golden Carp (Carassius auratus) in Enne Dam Lake, Turkey
(-) No infection

DISCUSSION

All the monogeneans found during the current study are considered new locality records, with the exception of P. hommoion, which was recorded in Turkey by Ozturk (2000). The most abundant fish caught in the dam lake was A. alburnus and its infection rate is higher than the other fishes as well. On the other hand, A. alburnus was exposed to infection all over the year, whereas Carassius species were infected mainly between March and September. Similar results in different fish species were also found in Manyas Lake (Turkey) by Ozturk (2000) and by Aydogdu and Altunel in Iznik Lake (2002).

The parasites causing higher infection are D. fraternus in A. alburnus fish and G. kataharineri in Carassius fishes. An interesting result from this study is that parasites are Genus specific not species specific; that is, while parasites of A. alburnus are different from of Carassius, parasites of C. carassius and C. auratus are the same. In several studies, it has been shown that D. alatus and D. fraternus parasites are specific for Alburnus Genus (Lambert, 1977; Dupont and Lambert, 1986; Gelnar et al., 1994). In addition, all Diplozoon parasites of A. brama in Norway were found to be only Diplozoon paradoxum (Halvorsen, 1969). However, Dactylogyrus parasites are not Genus specific. Thus, this parasite has been detected in carp fish (Cyprinus carpio) (Oguz, 1991) and also in Carassius in this study.

In general, there was no significant correlation between water temperature of the dam lake and fish infection, except infection of C. auratus by Contracaecum sp., which shows negative correlation at 0.05 level of significance. There also were negative correlations concerning other fishes in this respect, but statistically not significant. In general, there seems to be a negative correlation between water temperature and fish infection at least for the fish species and parasites studied; that is, increases in water temperature correspond to decreases in fish infection. These fish species may be exposed to cold stress in lower water temperature and this may facilitate fish infection.

Contrarily, Zitnan and Hanzelova (1984) have indicated that the infection rate of carp fishes by Bothriocephalus acheilognathi (gowkongensis) increases with increasing water temperature andreaches its maximum in July and August. Similarly, the infection rate of carp fishes by Dactylogyrus extensus increases with increasing water temperature and reaches to maximum at June in Hungary (Molnar and Szekely, 1995). This situation may vary depending on fish species and water properties.

There was a significant positive correlation between fish length, fish weight and infection rate of Carassius, for the parasites studied. However, there was no significant correlation in A. alburnus in this respect. Thus, we can say that the relation between fish length, fish weight and fish infection is Genus specific; therefore the results can not be generalized for all fish species.

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