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Morphological changes to the gills of killifish associated with severe parasite infection

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Highly significant changes were found in digenean metacercariae infected gills of killifish Fundulus heteroclitus with respect to gill abnormalities. Gills infected with >1000 metacercariae exhibited up to 42 additional gill branches per fish when compared to less parasitized conspecifics. A strong positive correlation was found between abnormal gill morphology (number of branches) and the number of endoparasites present.

Keywords: Fundulus heteroclitus; digenean metacercariae; gill abnormalities

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark NJ, 07107, U.S.A. 2: Department of Biological Science, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ 07102, U.S.A.

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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