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Parasitology. 2004 Oct;129(Pt 4):473-8.

Eye fluke-induced cataract formation in fish: quantitative analysis using an ophthalmological microscope.

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  • 1Department of Biological and Environmental Science, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Fyväskylä, Finland.


We examined the parasite-induced cataract formation in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) using slit-lamp microscopy to determine the relationship between cataract intensity and number of Diplostomum spathaceum parasites that were established in the lens. Cataract intensity increased significantly with parasite burden, but was also affected by the pattern of exposure to the parasite cercariae. The slit-lamp methodology proved useful in scoring the cataracts since it provides a 3-dimensional view into the lens and gives an actual picture of the location and intensity of the cataracts, which allows detailed investigations of mechanisms underlying cataract formation in various fish species. Potential applications of the method in fish farming and parasitological studies are discussed.

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