Ichthyobodiasis (Ichthybodiasis)

Symptoms

Abnormal swimming - streaks
Fish swims in short bursts, then stops.
Gills have excess mucous
Obvious slimy mucous is oozing from the gills of the fish.
Milky patches
Grey milky coloured patches are evident on skin.
Pale slime film over skin
A slimy thin grey/white film covers the body.
Rubbing/scratching
Fish constantly rubs or scratches itself against any object available.
Skin excessive sliminess
Skin shows mucous and slime far in excess of normal.
pH water low <6.5
A few species of freshwater fish (Discus) can tolerate lower than 6.5 pH.  If lower than this and problems, suspect this a possible cause.
Respiration rapid
Fish is breathing very fast, much faster than is normal.
Seasonal change of temperature
The water has changed in temperature due to normal seasonal variation.
Temperature sudden changes
Temperature has been changed suddenly usually downwards in recent days
Fins folded
The fins of the fish remain in a closed position due to discomfort.
Subepithelial petechiae
Small bloody red dots or effusions, evident below skin.
Listless and lethargic
Fish moves very lazily in water, much less than normal, lacks interest.
Organic load high
Water has a high organic loading and an above normal BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) reading.
Temperature elevated
Temperature is higher than the normal for these fish, or usual temperature

Causes

Protozoan parasitic Flagellate. viz Costia necatrix. or Costia necator.  The parasite is tear shaped under the microscope, with 2 locomotory flagellae. The parasite attaches to the skin and gills. Shows characteristic jerky movement under microscope.

Prognosis

In the chronic form, lower mortalities will occur, but if the infection becomes acute then heavier losses must be anticipated. Early detection, treatment, etc, will help prevent spread of the disease. Ichthyobodo outbreaks occur usually in the cooler months of the year.

Treatment

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Prevention

Avoid overcrowding. Provide good husbandry.


DNA and RNA diagnostic references

Ichthyobodo infections on farmed and wild fish.

Methods for detection and identification of
Ichthyobodo spp.

From Dissertation for the degree of philosophiae doctor (PhD)

Bergen University 2013    Trond Einar Isaksen

Contributors

Dr Prescott, Shawn
Fish Disease Dolau Ltd
Dolau
Wales

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