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marbio: seeking info. on skull parsites (fwd)

Anna M. Schotthoefer schotam5 at WFU.EDU
Thu Aug 7 17:13:17 EST 1997

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 1997 11:20:08 -0700
From: "Matthew S. Grober" <mgrober at asu.edu>
To: marbio at marinelab.sarasota.fl.us
Subject: marbio: seeking info. on skull parsites

My apologies to those of you who receive cross listed copies of this query...

Recently our research group discovered a remarkable parasitic infection and
I wanted to query this list to see if anyone has heard of it.  We have been
studying sexual plasticity in the Atlantic/Mediterranean blenny Salaria
pavo.  Part of this work involves opening the skull of fixed fish and
removing the brain.  Early on in this project we noticed that the brain
case (external to the meninges) was full of 'balls'.  I figured they were
fat (this is not uncommon in fish) and thought nothing more of it.  This
year we were doing enzyme assays on the fish and this required removing the
brain from recently euthanized fish.  We found that this 'brain balls' were
actually parasites and we obeserved them alive for quite some time!  The
closest thing I could find in a book was a myxozoan (this was based on the
presence of both 'living' parasites and spores in the cranium).  I am
confident that it is not Myxozoa cerebrus (common in carp), since this
vector is almost always detrimental to the host and it does not appear that
the parasite in these blennies has a significant effect on health.  What is
most remarkable is that the skull is FULL of these beasts and they are
present in the vast majority of fish that we open up.  Any insights would
be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely - M. Grober

Matthew S. Grober
Assistant Professor of Physiology
Department of Life Sciences
Arizona State University West                Phone: (602) 543-6939
4701 W. Thunderbird Rd.                        FAX: (602) 543-6073
Phoenix, AZ  85069-7100                     E-mail:mgrober at asu.edu


"No human being was ever so free as a fish."
                            John Ruskin

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