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Myxobolus neurophilus Guilford 1963 (Myxosporea: Myxobolidae): a common parasite infecting yellow perch Perca flavescens (Mitchell, 1814) in Saskatchewan, Canada

Scott, S J, Griffin, M J, Quiniou, S, Khoo, L, Bollinger, T K
Journal of fish diseases 2015 v.38 no.4 pp. 355-364
Myxobolus, Perca flavescens, brain, encephalitis, fish, fish kills, genes, geographical distribution, lakes, parasites, ribosomal DNA, spinal cord, watersheds, Saskatchewan
The goal of this study was to identify a myxosporidian parasite infecting the central nervous system of yellow perch Perca flavescens (Mitchell, 1814) observed while investigating a fish kill in Saskatchewan, Canada. Fish were collected from seven different lakes, from two distinct watersheds. Sixty‐four per cent (54/86) of yellow perch contained myxozoan pseudocysts located throughout the spinal cord and brain. Myxospores measured 16.5 μm (range 16.2–16.8) long and 8.2 μm (range 7.9–8.4) wide and contained two pyriform, mildly dissymmetrical, polar capsules measuring 7.7 μm (range 7.3–8.1) long and 2.7 μm (range 2.4–3.0) wide. The polar capsules each contained a single polar filament, with 7–9 turns per polar filament coil. Sequencing of the 18S SSU rDNA gene demonstrated >99% similarity to Myxobolus neurophilus. In 60% of infected fish, there was a mild to moderate, non‐suppurative myelitis or encephalitis, or both, associated with myxospores. Axonal degeneration was present in rare cases. These findings extend the geographical distribution of M. neurophilus and suggest it may be widespread in yellow perch populations in Saskatchewan.