The lsraeli Joumal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh 50(4), 1998, 161-166

THE USE OF POLYCLONAL ANTIBODIES FOR DETECTION OF
MYXIDIUM LEEI INFECTIONS IN FISH


R. Segal, R.R. Avtalion, B. Timan

Laboratory of Fish Immunology and Genetics, Department of Life Science, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan 52900, Israel

A. Diamant

Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, National Center for Mariculture, P.O. Box 1212, Eilat 88112 Israel

(Received 7.5.98, Accepted 14.8.98)

Abstract

Myxidium leei (Myxozoa: Myxosporea) is a histozoic parasite, which causes severe chronic gut infections in cultured marine fish. A polyclonal antiserum raised In ICR mice against Myxidium leei cells recovered from infected gilthead sea bream Sparus aurata L. was used for the detection of the parasite cells in the intestinal mucosa of M. leei infected S. aurata and red drum, Sciaenops ocel!atus. Air-dried smears taken from Myxidium-infected gut of S. aurata produced a strong fluorescent background staining with this antibody, probably due to the presence of antibodies specific to S. aurata antigens in this antiserum. In contrast, exclusive immunofluorescence staining of the parasite cells was obtained with the same antibody in infected red drum intestinal mucosa smears. The results indicate that detection and identification of M. leei smears of fish gut mucosa maybe possible by immunofluorescence using antibodies raised against Myxidium cells of xenogeneic species. The method may be a useful diagnostic tool for detecting early, asymptomatic infections in intensively reared mariculture stocks.


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