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Two in vitro methods for screening potential parasiticides against Ichthyophthirius multifiliis using Tetrahymena thermophila

D‐H Xu, Q‐Z Zhang, D Zhang
Journal of fish diseases 2016 v.39 no.3 pp. 285-294
Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, Tetrahymena thermophila, antiparasitic agents, aquaculture, cell proliferation, copper sulfate, financial economics, formalin, freshwater fish, lethal concentration 50, malachite green, parasites, screening
Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich) is a ciliate parasite that infects many species of freshwater fishes worldwide and causes heavy economic losses in aquaculture. Currently, parasiticides for controlling this parasite are limited, and few pond‐practical chemical therapies exist. Hence, the search for new parasiticides is urgently needed. One challenge confronting the screening of potential parasiticides is the difficulty in raising enough parasite for efficacy testing as Ich is an obligate parasite. This study used species of Tetrahymena, Ich‐related and cultivable ciliate protozoa, to evaluate two in vitro methods to test parasiticides. Plate counting and MTS assays (CellTiter 96® AQᵤₑₒᵤₛ Non‐Radioactive Cell Proliferation Assay) were used to compare lethal concentrations or median lethal concentrations (LC₅₀) of copper sulphate, formalin and malachite green between T. thermophila and Ich theronts or between T. thermophila and Ich tomonts. The parasiticides that killed T. thermophila have been demonstrated to kill theronts or tomonts. These in vitro methods using T. thermophila can be used to screen novel parasiticides against Ich.