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Int J Parasitol. 2006 Aug;36(9):987-91. Epub 2006 May 16.

A link between ectoparasite infection and susceptibility to bacterial disease in rainbow trout.

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Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35 (MaD), FIN-40014 Jyväskylä, Finland.


Rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, were infected concomitantly with Argulus coregoni and Flavobacterium columnare and their survival was compared with that of fish infected with either the parasite or the bacterium alone. The mortality of fish challenged with A. coregoni was negligible while infection with F. columnare alone led to significantly lower survival. However, compared with single infections, the mortality was significantly higher and the onset of disease condition was earlier among fish, which were concomitantly infected by A. coregoni and F. columnare. This data presents, for the first time, experimental support for the hypothesis that an ectoparasite infection increases susceptibility of fish to a bacterial pathogen.

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