Diseases of cultured marine fishes caused by Platyhelminthes (Monogenea, Digenea, Cestoda)

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Mariculture is a rapidly developing industrial sector. Generally, fish are maintained in net cages with high density. Cage culture systems allow uncontrolled flow of sea water containing potentially infectious stages of fish parasites. In such culture conditions, prevention of such parasitic infections is difficult for parasites with life cycles that complete within culture sites, among which monogeneans and blood flukes are the most important platyhelminthes. Intense monogenean infections induce respiratory and osmo-regulatory dysfunctions. A variety of control measures have been developed, including freshwater bath treatment and chemotherapy. The potential to control monogenean infections through selective breeding, modified culture techniques to avoid infection, and general fish health management are discussed. It should be noted that mariculture conditions have provided some host-specific monogeneans with a chance to expand their host ranges. Blood flukes sometimes induce mass mortality among farmed fish. In-feed administration of praziquantel is the best solution to treat infected fish. Some cases are described that show how international trade in marine fish has resulted in the spread of hitherto unknown parasites into indigenous farmed and wild fish.

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