The first report of Gyrodactylus salaris Malmberg, 1957 (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea) on Italian cultured stocks of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum)
The monogenean Gyrodactylus salaris Malmberg, 1957 is considered one of the most important parasites of wild salmonids in the European Community due to the heavy ecological and economical damage it has inflicted on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) parr populations. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is susceptible to G. salaris and can act as a suitable carrier host and, consequently, its trade in EU territory is restricted in relation to the status of ''recognized free'' zones. Despite the economic importance of rainbow trout farming in Italy, information on the Italian gyrodactylid fauna is lacking and prior to this study, G. salaris had not been officially reported. During a routine health examination of farmed rainbow trout stock throughout Central and Northern Italy in 2004-2005, five fish farms were found to be infected with G. salaris alongside three other gyrodactylids. Morphological and molecular characterisation confirmed the presence of G. salaris, Gyrodactylus teuchis Lautraite, Blanc, Thiery, Daniel et Vigneulle, 1999 and Gyrodactylus derjavinoides Malmberg, Collins, Cunningham et Jalali, 2007, while Gyrodactylus truttae Glaser, 1974 was identified by morphological analysis only. The findings from this study extend the distribution of G. salaris within Europe and highlight the importance of the rainbow trout trade in its dissemination.
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