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Freshwater mussels (Anodonta anatina) reduce transmission of a common fish trematode (eye fluke, Diplostomum pseudospathaceum)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 August 2017

A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninskij prosp., 33, 119071 Moscow, Russia
Institute of Cytology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Tikhoretsky Ave., 4, 194064 Saint Petersburg, Russia
P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Nakhimovskii prosp., 36, 117997 Moscow, Russia
A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninskij prosp., 33, 119071 Moscow, Russia
Department of Biological and Environmental Science P.O. Box 35, University of Jyväskylä, FIN-40014, Finland
*Corresponding author: Institute of Cytology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Tikhoretsky Ave., 4, 194064 Saint Petersburg, Russia. E-mail:


Recent results suggest that bivalves can play an important role in restraining the spread of various aquatic infections. However, the ability of mussels to remove free-living stages of macroparasites and reduce their transmission is still understudied, especially for freshwater ecosystems. We investigated the influence of the common freshwater mussel (Anodonta anatina) on the transmission of a trematode (eye fluke, Diplostomum pseudospathaceum), which frequently infects fish in farms and natural habitats. In our experiments, mussels caused a significant decrease (P < 0·001) in the abundance of trematode free-living stages, from 6520 to 1770 cercariae L−1 on average (about 4-fold in 2 h). Individual clearance rates of mussels were 0·6‒3·7 L per hour (mean 1·9). These tests were followed by experimental infections of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) with different doses of D. pseudospathaceum cercariae in the presence or absence of mussels. Exposure of fish to cercariae in the presence of mussels significantly (P < 0·05) reduced the infection intensities in fish (by 30–40%) at all exposure doses. Our results indicate that freshwater bivalves can markedly reduce local cercariae densities and could be useful in mitigation of trematodoses harmful to fish farming.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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These authors are joint first authors.



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