The fate of Lernaeocera branchialis (L.) (Crustacea; Copepoda) in Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua L

J E Baily, Johanna Smith, R Wootten, C Sommerville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lernaeocera branchialis, a copepod crustacean parasite of gadoids, represents a potential threat to both wild and farmed cod, Gadus morhua. The pathological changes associated with the early stages of experimental infection have previously been reported in detail, and this article describes the lesions associated with later chronic stages of experimental infection. Chronic infection is characterised by extravascular granuloma formation and proliferation of fibrovascular tissue around intact and fragmented, degenerate parasites within both the gill arch and cardiac region. The majority of parasite granulomas are located within connective tissues of the gill arch or pericardium; however, low numbers are present within the wall of large vessels. The intraluminal parasites and thrombi of early stage infection are largely absent in these later lesions. We propose that organisation and incorporation of the parasite thrombus into the vessel wall with subsequent granuloma formation and extrusion into the surrounding connective tissue leads to the elimination of the parasite from the vascular system. Thus, rather than being a negative consequence of infection thrombosis is protective, allowing the host to survive the substantial initial vascular insult.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-47
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Fish Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • Animals
  • Aquaculture
  • Blood Vessels
  • Copepoda
  • Female
  • Fish Diseases
  • Gadus morhua
  • Gills
  • Granuloma
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Parasitic Diseases, Animal
  • Pericardium
  • Random Allocation
  • Thrombosis


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