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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Spatial and intra-host distribution of myxozoan parasite Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae among Baltic sea trout (Salmo trutta)

Lauringson, Magnus; Kahar, Siim; Veevo, Taigor; Silm, Maidu; Philpott, Duncan; Svirgsden, Roland; Rohtla, Mehis; Pakk, Priit; Gross, Riho; Kaart, Tanel; Vasemagi, Anti


Proliferative kidney disease caused by the myxozoan parasite Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae has been actively studied in juvenile salmonids for decades. However, very little is known about parasite prevalence and its geographical and intra-host distribution at older life stages. We screened T. bryosalmonae among adult sea trout (Salmo trutta) (n = 295) collected along the Estonian Baltic Sea coastline together with juvenile trout from 33 coastal rivers (n = 1752) to assess spatial infection patterns of the adult and juvenile fish. The parasite was detected among 38.6% of adult sea trout with the prevalence increasing from west to east, and south to north, along the coastline. A similar pattern was observed in juvenile trout. Infected sea trout were also older than uninfected fish and the parasite was detected in sea trout up to the age of 6 years. Analysis of intra-host distribution of the parasite and strontium to calcium ratios from the otoliths revealed that (re)infection through freshwater migration may occur among adult sea trout. The results of this study indicate that T. bryosalmonae can persist in a brackish water environment for several years and that returning sea trout spawners most likely contribute to the parasite life cycle by transmitting infective spores.


anadromous salmonid; aquatic pathogens; brown trout; endoparasite; sea trout

Published in

Journal of Fish Diseases
2023, Volume: 46, number: 10, pages: 1073-1083
Publisher: WILEY