NEW ParaFishControl article "Digenean Holostephanus (Trematoda: Digenea: Cyathocotylidae) metacercariae in common carp (Cyprinus carpio Linnaeus, 1758) muscle: Zoonotic potential and sensitivity to physico-chemical treatments"

Metacercariae of various species within the genus Holostephanus Szidat, 1936 (Trematoda: Digenea: Cyathocotylidae) occur in muscles of both farmed and wild fish, including common carp (Cyprinus carpio Linnaeus, 1758). The life cycle includes a snail as first intermediate host, fish as second intermediate host and birds or mammals as final hosts. We studied the zoonotic potential and the viability of Holostephanus metacercariae from common carp following exposure to various physical and chemical treatments. Muscle tissue samples of common carp specimens from a fish farm in the north-eastern part of Hungary were examined and metacercariae recovered. The zoonotic potential was evaluated experimentally by using small mammals as models (albino mice, n = 2; and Syrian hamsters, n = 4) infected per os with Holostephanus cysts. Parallelly, Metagonimus metacercariae were used as positive controls. We could not confirm the zoonotic potential of Holostephanus metacercariae as they did not survive in the mammalian intestine whereas Metagonimus metacercariae developed to the adult stage. We assessed the viability of metacercariae isolated from common carp specimens during exposure to different physical treatments (temperatures of −18°C, +20°C, +40°C and +60°C) and chemical agents (5% and 10% acetic acid and 10% sodium chloride (NaCl)). Metacercariae lost viability by freezing at −18°C (2 h), heating at 60°C (20 min), incubation in 5% and 10% acetic acid (5 min) and 10% NaCl (2 h). These methods served as models to investigate the effectiveness of food preparation techniques (such as cold and hot smoking, freezing, salting and pickling) on the survival of metacercariae.

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NEW ParaFishControl article "Effects of Enteromyxum spp. (Myxozoa) infection in the regulation of intestinal E-cadherin: Turbot against gilthead sea bream"

Enteromyxoses are relevant diseases for turbot and gilthead sea bream aquaculture. The myxozoan parasites invade the intestinal mucosa, causing a cachectic syndrome associated with intestinal barrier alteration; nonetheless, their pathological impact is different. Turbot infected by Enteromyxum scophthalmi develop more severe intestinal lesions, reaching mortality rates of 100%, whereas in E. leei‐infected gilthead sea bream, the disease progresses slowly, and mortality rates are lower. The mechanisms underlying the different pathogenesis are still unclear. We studied the distribution and expression changes of E‐cadherin, a highly conserved protein of the adherens junctions, in the intestine of both species by immunohistochemistry and quantitative PCR, using the same immunohistochemical protocol and common primers. The regular immunostaining pattern observed in control fish turned into markedly irregular in parasitized turbot, showing an intense immunoreaction at the host–parasite interface. Nevertheless, E‐cadherin gene expression was not significantly modulated in this species. On the contrary, no evident changes in the protein distribution were noticed in gilthead sea bream, whereas a significant gene downregulation occurred in advanced infection. The results contribute to the understanding of the different host–parasite interactions in enteromyxoses. Host and parasite cells appear to establish diverse relationships in these species, which could underlie the different pathological picture.

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NEW ParaFishControl article "Selection of suitable reference genes for gene expression studies in myxosporean (Myxozoa, Cnidaria) parasites"

Myxozoans (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) are an extremely diversified group of endoparasites some of which are causative agents of serious diseases in fish. New methods involving gene expression studies have emerged over the last years to better understand and control myxozoan diseases. Quantitative RT-PCR is the most extensively used approach for gene expression studies. However, the accuracy of the results depends on the normalization of the data to reference genes. We studied the expression of eight commonly used reference genes, adenosylhomocysteinase (AHC1), beta actin (ACTB), eukaryotic translation elongation factor 2 (EF2), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase 1 (HPRT1), DNA-directed RNA polymerase II (RPB2), 18S ribosomal RNA (18S), 28S ribosomal RNA (28S) across different developmental stages of three myxozoan species, Sphaerospora molnari, Myxobolus cerebralis and Ceratonova shasta, representing the three major myxozoan linages from the largest class Myxosporea. The stable reference genes were identified using four algorithms: geNorm, NormFinder, Bestkeeper and ΔCq method. Additionally, we analyzed transcriptomic data from S. molnari proliferative and spore-forming stages to compare the relative amount of expressed transcripts with the most stable reference genes suggested by RT-qPCR. Our results revealed that GAPDH and EF2 are the most uniformly expressed genes across the different developmental stages of the studied myxozoan species.

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NEW ParaFishControl article "Immune response to Ichthyophthirius multifiliis and role of IgT"

The parasitic ciliate Ichthyophthirius multifiliis causes white spot disease in freshwater fish worldwide. The theront penetrates external surfaces of the naïve fish where it develops into the feeding trophont stage and elicits a protective immune response both at the affected site as well as at the systemic level. The present work compiles data and presents an overall model of the protective reactions induced. A wide spectrum of inflammatory reactions are established upon invasion but the specific protection is provided by adaptive factors. Immunoglobulin IgT is involved in protection of surfaces in several fish species and is thereby one of the first adaptive immune molecules reacting with the penetrating theront. IgT producing lymphocytes occur in epithelia, dispersed or associated with lymphoid cell aggregations (skin epidermis, fins, gills, nostrils and buccal cavities) but they are also present in central immune organs such as the head kidney, spleen and liver. When theronts invade immunized fish skin, they are encountered by host factors which opsonize the parasite and may result in complement activation, phagocytosis or cell‐mediated killing. However, antibody (IgT, IgM and IgD) binding to parasite cilia has been suggested to alter parasite behaviour and induce an escape reaction, whereby specific IgT (or other classes of immunoglobulin in fish surfaces) takes a central role in protection against the parasite.

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NEW ParaFishControl article "Blood feast: exploring the erythrocyte‐feeding behavior of the myxozoan Sphaerospora molnari"

Aims: As the most abundant cell population in the blood, erythrocytes represent an attractive source of nutrients and a protective niche to a number of pathogens. Previously, we observed the attachment of the myxozoan parasite Sphaerospora molnari to erythrocytes of its host, common carp (Cyprinus carpio), raising a number of questions about the nature of this interaction.
Methods and results: We elucidated the impact of S molnari on the number of erythrocytes in healthy and immunocompromised fish, over a period of 6 weeks. While we observed only a mild decrease in RBC numbers in healthy individuals, we witnessed gradual and finally severe haemolytic anaemia in immunosuppressed fish. Accompanying this overt loss was increased erythropoiesis as represented by an increase of erythroblasts in the blood. In vitro, we demonstrated the uptake of host proteins from CFSE‐labelled erythrocytes, ultimately inducing death of host RBCs, likely for nutrient gain of the parasite. Nevertheless, the results do not exclude a possible role of erythrocyte‐derived proteins in immune evasion.
Conclusion: Overall, the obtained data provide first evidence for the previously unknown appetite of myxozoan parasites for host erythrocytes and create an important framework for future investigations into the molecular mechanisms underlining this interaction.

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