Fish Parasites: A Review

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Kwaghvihi, O.B., Ayuba, V.O., Omeji, S., Makeri, V.A.

      Department Of Fisheries And Aquaculture, College Of Forestry And Fisheries, University Of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria

Just like humans and other animals, fish serve as host to a wide variety of parasites that can be pathogenic under some circumstances. The degree of pathogenicity depends on the number of parasites in each fish, their stage of development, location, age and size of the fish, since young fish are more likely to be damaged by parasites. These parasites are passed directly between ultimate hosts, others need to navigate through a series of intermediate hosts before reaching a host in (or on) which they can attain sexual maturity. Parasitic infections have been demonstrated to have consequences for almost every aspect of fish behaviour. The damage caused by parasites may be mechanical, causing the blockage of ducts and the deformation of organs. The activities of the parasites are to secrete enzymes that destroy tissues, others secrete irritating substances and blood-feeding parasites may secrete anticoagulants. This review is aimed at enlightening on the potential risk of diseases, parasites and associated pathological effects with fish culture in order to avoid economic lost. It also encourages consumers to handle fish with care and endeavor to cook their fish food very well so as to destroy the disease carriers that might be harbored in the fish.

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