Does the anaesthetic infl uence behavioural transmission of the monogenean Gyrodactylus gasterostei Gläser, 1974 off the host?

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Summary

The aim of this study was to investigate the use of the anaesthetic 2-phenoxyethanol on the transmission factors of gyrodactylid and to ascertain how this may affect in the colonisation of new hosts using the Gyrodactylus gasterostei Gläser, 1974 - Gasterosteus aculeatus L. model which is a simple and successful system to examine aspects of transmission of parasites from live and dead fish. Laboratory experiments include determining the maturity (presence of male copulate organ) and reproductive (presence of daughter) status of transmitting worms, in order to consider the factors that influence parasite option to migrate to a new individual of the same host species. This study demonstrates that parasites with a Male Copulate Organ (MCO) present are more likely to abandon the host and attempt a host transfer. The use of the anaesthetic 2-phenoxyethanol does not affect transmission of gyrodactylids which leave the host to colonise a new host. Finally, the use of other anaesthetic although its relative importance with respect to transmission remains uncertain.

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