Publication details

Seasonal changes in immunocomptence and parasitism in chub (Leuciscus cephalus), a freshwater cyprinid fish.


LAMKOVÁ Karolína ŠIMKOVÁ Andrea PALÍKOVÁ Miroslava JURAJDA Pavel LOJEK Antonín

Year of publication 2007
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Parasitology Research
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Physiology
Keywords cyprinid fish - parasites - immunocompetence - trade-off - season
Description Seasonal variation of water characteristics, predominantly temperature, is considered to strongly affect fish physiology and immunology. In nature, this variation directly influences the life cycle especially in fish parasites but the infection of parasites is also altered by the host immune response. This study is aimed to analyze the seasonal changes in selected physiological and immunological parameters, the latter a potential measure of fish immunocompetence. Moreover, the seasonal changes in metazoan parasites infection were investigated and the potential associations between fish physiology, immunocompetence and parasitism were estimated. No differences in gender were recognized for immunological parameters. The significant differences in spleen-somatic index were found among fish samples of different seasons indicating higher investment in spleen size in April (after winterizing) and August (post breeding with low GSI). The significant seasonal differences in erythrocyte and leukocyte cell counts, as well as in phagocyte count affecting respiratory burst were recorded. The general trend of leukocyte composition was similar in all seasons investigated; however, the changes in proportion of different neutrophilic cells were reported. The parasite diversity and the infection parameters in parasite communities were highest in spring and early summer. When comparing parasite abundance in infra-communities among seasons, the statistically highest values were observed in April and June for Monogenea, in April and November for Acanthocephala and in April for Cestoda. The positive correlations between GSI and the parasite abundance of groups with higher infection parameters were found in males. Moreover, the positive association between Monogenea as the dominant parasite group and respiratory burst was observed. The higher investment in condition and the seasonal variation in GSI were associated with a decrease immune function measured by spleen size or leukocyte cell count especially for males suggesting the seasonal energy allocation between immune function and somatic or reproductive investment.
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