Classification: Taxonomic ranks under review (cf. Illustrated Guide to Protozoa, Allen Press). Protista (unicellular eukaryotes) Ciliophora (with cilia, nuclear . Ichthyophthirius multifiliis is a ciliated protozoan that causes. “Ich” or “white spot disease.” This disease is a major prob- lem to aquarists and commercial fish. The name Ichthyophthirius multifilis translates to “fish louse with many children”, a title that fits well, as each parasite may produce more than a.

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Quarantine is an effective way of preventing this disease. Use of copper in freshwater aquaculture and farm ponds. Of the ichthyyophthirius stages shown Figure 1only the free-swimming theronts are susceptible to chemical treatment. Periodic flushing of tanks and ponds with clean fresh water helps to reduce contamination levels.


For example, a healthy fish with a newly attached trophont will not yet have clinical disease. However, somethings need to be considered prior to using in an aquarium. Causes, Treatment, and Prevention”. During quarantine, plants can be treated with a plant disinfectant or a mild broad-spectrum anti-parasitic remedy.

Prevention of the disease by vaccination is not possible, although several studies identified potential vaccine candidate proteins, i. There is no dormant stage in the life cycle.

NEVER use copper sulfate without first testing the total alkalinity of the water, carefully measuring the dimensions of the pond to be treated, and weighing the amount of chemical to be applied.

The trophonts form greyish pustules in the skin of their hosts where they feed by ingesting host cell debris. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ichthyophtiriosis. There may also be some fish that carry encysted parasites despite having developed immunity. If the parasite is only present in the gills, white spots may not be seen at all but fish will die in large numbers.


The chemical is effective and relatively inexpensive, an important consideration when large volumes of water are treated. How Ich kills fish is not exactly known, however observations give possible explanations. Ichthyophthirius multifiliis settles beneath the skin epidermis where it develops in characteristic thin-walled pustulesthe ‘white spots’.

Dinokaryota With a theca: It has a horseshoe-shaped nucleus, which is sometimes visible under x magnification. Views Read View source View history. Additionally, because the environmental tomont cyst is sticky, it can easily spread between systems.

In Witzany, Guenther; Nowacki, Mariusz. Fish recovered from Ichthyophthirius multifiliis infections develop protective immunity. The mature trophont is large, oval to round, dark in color due to the thick cilia covering the entire celland measures 0.

Mesodiniea MesodiniumMyrionecta. However, if the infection is at an advanced stage, treatment protocols are not followed, and the fish are stressed, higher death rates will occur. Potassium permanganate is a strong oxidizer, and its use more than once a week is discouraged to prevent damage to the multifipiis, gills, and eyes of the fish.

A slight increase in salinity can help decrease osmoregulatory stress caused by the damage to the external tissues of the fish. Dyspnoea and heavy infections may be apparent through rapid gill movements, lethargy and anorexia.

When the organism gets into a large fish culture facility, it is difficult to control due to its fast reproductive cycle and its unique life stages. Retrieved from ” https: This page was last edited on 15 Decemberat It is very easy to overdose with copper. The disease is particularly severe when fish are crowded.


Pages — In P. Also, formalin removes oxygen from the water and can damage the gills of the fish, so adding an air stone during treatment is highly recommended. Methylene blue is commonly available for aquarium stores. When replete, they leave the host and form encysted stages tomonts in the external environment.

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Although Ichthyophthirius multifiliis has a direct life cycle, it is fairly complex and has three distinct life stages: Formalin is not the ideal treatment for ponds, but it works well in tanks. Repeating the appropriate chemical treatment will disrupt the life cycle and control the outbreak. The sheer numbers of Ich organisms attached to the gills can mechanically block oxygen transfer. A smear should show ciliates if white spot is present.

Because copper sulfate is an algaecide, its use may lead to severe oxygen depletions; therefore, emergency aeration should always be available.

If you would like to help with this, please see more information about expert reviewing. Because the sticky cyst of the tomonts may attach to organic material, cleaning this debris will help remove many cysts from the environment, further decreasing the number of emergent theronts. Development Upload file Commons. These cysts produce hundreds of infective stages tomites which are released as swarmers theronts which actively seek new hosts.