Malformations of the gill filaments of the ruffe Gymnocephalus cernuus (L.) (Pisces) caused by echinostomatid metacercariae

K. Molnár, D. I. Gibson, G. Majoros, C. Székely, D. Sándor, G. Cech

Research output: Article

1 Citation (Scopus)


In parasite surveys of fishes from Lake Balaton and its tributaries in Hungary, infections with metacercariae of a species of the digenean genus Echinochasmus (Trematoda: Echinostomatidae) were found in seven species of fish. In ruffe, Gymnocephalus cernuus, malformations of the gill filaments apparently caused by these infections were observed. These malformations were in the form of bifurcations of the filaments at about their mid-length. At the point where the filaments bifurcate, an Echinochasmus metacercaria was always embedded in the cartilaginous ray of the gill filament. All specimens of the ruffe were found to be infected by these metacercariae, and each ruffe specimen was infected by 30-300 metacercariae. Such a bifurcation was found in all of the ruffe specimens, but, apart from these gill malformations, the metacercariae produced only local changes in the cartilage. In the other six infected fish species, only local signs were observed in the cartilage. Experimental infections of chicks with metacercariae resulted in the finding of the sexual adult (marita) of an unidentified species of Echinochasmus. ITS sequences of the adult and metacercaria corresponded with each other, and also with a cercaria isolated from a gravel snail (Lithoglyphus naticoides), with a 99.5-100% similarity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1357-1367
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of fish diseases
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - nov. 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)

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