Physiological parameters were measured after experimental infection of roach (Rutilus rutilus L.) with Rhipidocotyle fennica Gibson, Valtonen et Taskinen, 1992 (Digenea) cercariae. The fish were caught from two lakes: a eutrophic bleached kraft mill effluent (BKME)-contaminated lake and an oligotrophic unpolluted lake. The intensity of infection was followed up to 10 days post infection (p.i.) and physiological parameters indicating non-specific stress responses and the condition of fish were examined simultaneously. The mean abundance, the number of parasites per fish, of R. fennica was significantly higher in the fish from the contaminated water during the first two days p.i., probably reflecting the decreased resistance of these fish to infection. The decrease of leukocrit, as well as the increase of the activity of transaminases (GOT and GPT) in infected fish of both groups are suggestive of pathological processes caused by cercariae penetrating the fish. A significantly lower leukocrit value, as well as higher alkaline phosphatase activity and plasma chloride levels were noted in fish originating from the contaminated lake compared to those from the unpolluted lake. No significant differences were noted in haematocrit, plasma protein and calcium values between the fish from the uncontaminated and contaminated lakes, or between the infected and uninfected control fish.
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