Monitoring Anguillicoloides crassus infections in the European eel, Anguilla anguilla, within UK river systems

Ab Aziz, R, Walker, A, Williams, C, Aprahamian, M and Brooks, DR 2012, Monitoring Anguillicoloides crassus infections in the European eel, Anguilla anguilla, within UK river systems , in: 6th World Fisheries Congress, 07/05/2012 - 11/05/2012, Edinburgh.

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The European eel, Anguilla anguilla, is an economically important species that contributes to biodiversity within UK and European inland and coastal waters. The numbers of A. anguilla have suffered serious decline in recent years and the species is now viewed as threatened. One contributory factor to this decline is believed to the pathological impact of infectious agents such as parasites and viruses. To assist understanding of the role(s) of parasites in the species decline, we have focused upon the swimbladder nematode Anguillicoloides crassus. This parasite is naturally present in the Pacific eel A. japonica, causing no deleterious health effects. However, due to the worldwide eel trade, A. crassus was accidentally introduced into European habitats in the 1980s and within A. anguilla, it causes a striking pathology of the host swimbladder. The primary aim of this study is to clarify the status of A. crassus within UK eel populations. To this end, we have examined > 500 eels from twenty-seven river systems across England and Wales. Our data confirm that A. crassus infection is widespread; for example, prevalence of infection is 79%, 70% and 36% from specimens isolated from the river Piddle (Dorset), the river Cadoxton (South Wales) and the river Leven (Cumbria) respectively. We have also initiated parasite genotyping to establish the extent of A. crassus genetic diversity in the UK. Such information is necessary as a foundation for controlling the spread of A. crassus and hence assisting improvements to the management of European eel stocks in the United Kingdom.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Refereed: No
Funders: Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA)
Depositing User: DR Brooks
Date Deposited: 18 May 2012 14:56
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 14:20

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