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Microfauna associated with amoebic gill disease in sea-farmed Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., smolts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455–465
JournalJournal of Fish Diseases
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2006


A study of microfauna, associated with pathological changes in the gills of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., was conducted over 2001–2002. Monthly samples of 1+ salmon smolts were taken, protozoan populations were quantified and gill health was assessed histologically. Protozoan densities were correlated with pathological changes, in order to determine their possible role in lesions in the gills. The most severe gill tissue changes were observed in summer/autumn and the least in spring. A diverse polyphyletic protozoan community was observed colonizing the gills, including Neoparamoeba sp., other amoebae, scuticociliates, Ichthyobodo-like flagellates, trichodinid ciliates and prostomatean ciliates. The earlier gill tissue changes in the gill were not always associated with the presence of these microorganisms, whereas amoebae (other than Neoparamoeba sp.), Ichthyobodo-like flagellates and trichodinid ciliates correlated with augmenting gill lesions. Neoparamoeba sp. was present, but its abundance did not correlate with the disease. This study suggests that a diversity of protozoans including Ichthyobodo-like flagellates, trichodinid ciliates and amoebae other than Neoparamoeba sp. are involved in the aetiology of amoebic gill disease in the Irish situation.

    Research areas

  • amoebae , amoebic gill disease , Ichthyobodo-like flagellates , Neoparamoeba sp. , scuticociliates , trichodinid ciliates

ID: 16977519