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Caligus elongatus Nordmann genotypes on wild and farmed fish

Øines Ø, Heuch PA. Caligus elongatus Nordmann genotypes on wild and farmed fish. J Fish Dis 2007; 30: 81-91.

Two mitochondrial genotypes have been described for Caligus elongatus Nordmann in Norway. This article reports on the distribution of C. elongatus mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase 1 genotypes from wild fish hosts from the SE Norwegian coast. For comparison, lice from areas with fish farming were included in the study. The genotype distribution of 841 lice from wild coastal (n = 535), wild North Sea pelagic (n = 26), farmed (n = 160) and wild hosts in areas of fish farming (n = 89) is presented. The genotype frequencies of C. elongatus on wild coastal hosts varied significantly between spring and autumn. Lice from these fish show a large proportion of genotype 1 lice in March-June every year. Genotype 2 lice were found more frequently in autumn. Genotype 1 was clearly associated with the lumpfish, Cyclopterus lumpus L. The genotype frequency appeared to be different in areas with aquaculture. Caligus elongatus from farmed fish and wild fish caught close to Atlantic salmon fish farms in Norway were predominantly genotype 1 in autumn. Genotypes of C. elongatus on the SE coast of Norway vary according to season and fish species. Factors involved in the encounter between fish and lice are important for the establishment of lice on their hosts.

NVI authors

Øines Øivind

Senior Researcher MBE leader