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Scuticociliatosis is a severe disease in farmed flatfish. However, the causative agent is not always accurately identified. In this study, we identified two isolates of scuticociliates from an outbreak in cultured fine flounder Paralichthys adspersus. Scuticociliate identification was based on morphological data, examination of life stages and the use of molecular approaches. The isolates were compared with a strain of Philasterides dicentrachi from turbot Scophthalmus maximus and with a strain deposited in the American Type Culture Collection as Miamiensis avidus ATCC® 50180™. The use of morphological, biological and molecular methods enabled us to identify the isolates from the fine flouder as P. dicentrarchi. Comparison of P. dicentrachi isolates and M. avidus revealed some differences in the buccal apparatus. Unlike P. dicentrarchi, M. avidus has a life cycle with three forms: macrostomes (capable of feeding on P. dicentrarchi), microstomes and tomites. Additionally, we found differences in the 18S rRNA and α- and β-tubulin gene sequences, indicating that P. dicentrarchi and M. avidus are different species. We therefore reject the synonymy/conspecificity of the two taxa previously suggested. Finally, we suggest that a combination of morphological, biological, molecular (by multigene analysis) and serological techniques could improve the identification of scuticociliates parasites in fish.
Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia play a crucial role in its clinical manifestation and seem to be related to changes in the cholinergic system, specifically the action of acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Considering this context, the aim of this study was to evaluate the chronic effects of ketamine in the activity of AChE, as well as in behavioural parameters involving learning and memory.
The ketamine was administered for 7 days. A duration of 24 h after the last injection, the animals were submitted to behavioural tests. The activity of AChE in prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and striatum was measured at different times after the last injection (1, 3, 6 and 24 h).
The results indicate that ketamine did not affect locomotor activity and stereotypical movements. However, a cognitive deficit was observed in these animals by examining their behaviour in inhibitory avoidance. In addition, an increase in AChE activity was observed in all structures analysed 1, 3 and 6 h after the last injection. Differently, serum activity of AChE was similar between groups.
Chronic administration of ketamine in an animal model of schizophrenia generates increased AChE levels in different brain tissues of rats that lead to cognitive deficits. Therefore, further studies are needed to elucidate the complex mechanisms associated with schizophrenia.
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