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Dis Aquat Organ. 1998 Jun 19;33(2):143-9.

Impact of low water temperature on the development of Anguillicola crassus in the final host Anguilla anguilla.

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Zoologisches Institut-Okologie, Universität Karlsruhe, Germany.


The effect of low water temperatures on the development and viability of larval and adult Anguillicola crassus (Nematoda) in the final host Anguilla anguilla was studied. European eels were experimentally infected with A. crassus and then maintained for 4 mo at 4, 9, 10, and 19 degrees C. Larval development showed a temperature-dependent pattern and was significantly retarded at low temperatures. Third-stage larvae survived a 4 mo period at 4 degrees C without being affected, although they were not able to invade the swimbladder wall at this temperature. In contrast, adult worms were severely harmed during a 4 mo period at 4 degrees C, as reflected by increased mortality and decreased growth and reproductivity as compared to the worms maintained for the same period at 18 degrees C. Starvation for the eels at 4 mo at 19 degrees C did not affect the development and growth of the nematode. The experimentally obtained results support the hypothesis that the spread of A. crassus in boreal regions, e.g. Northern Europe, is restricted by the natural ambient temperature regimes.

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