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Host switch and infestation by Ligula intestinalis L. in a silver bream (Blicca bjoerkna L.) population

  • M. VANACKER (a1), G. MASSON (a1) and J-N. BEISEL (a1)


Sampling of the fish community was carried out for 20 years in the Mirgenbach reservoir, in North-Eastern France. The prevalence and the mean intensity of Ligula intestinalis (Cestoda) were analysed in roach (Rutilus rutilus) and silver bream (Blicca bjoerkna) populations, the main two infected species. The aim of this study was to investigate the host switch from roach to silver bream and the consequences of L. intestinalis infestation in silver bream, which is an unusual host for this parasite as Ligula parasitism in silver bream appears to be rare. We analysed in detail the relationships between parasitism index (PI), gonadosomatic index (GSI), perivisceral fat abundance (PFA) and condition index (CI) in the silver bream population. In 1998, prevalence of L. intestinalis highlighted a clear host switch from roach to silver bream. In the silver bream population, young fish were the most severely infected and the impact of plerocercoids appeared to be different depending on the host sex. In male silver bream, plerocercoids drew energy from fat reserves even if GSI was also slightly impacted. On the contrary, in females energy was diverted from gonad maturation rather than from perivisceral fat reserves. No significant difference was observed in terms of CI in either sex.


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