Gyrodactylus salaris (Monogenea, Gyrodactylidae) infections on resident Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) in southern Norway

  • Grethe RobertsenEmail author
  • Kjetil Olstad
  • Laetitia Plaisance
  • Lutz Bachmann
  • Tor A. Bakke
Special Issue Charr


This study surveys the distribution of Gyrodactylus salaris on resident Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus, in lakes connected to three south-Norwegian watercourses: Numedalsvassdraget, Skiensvassdraget and Hallingdalsvassdraget. Gyrodactylus salaris infected charr was only recorded in Numedalsvassdraget. The parasites had the same mitochondrial haplotype as those previously reported on charr in Lake Pålsbufjorden, which is part of Numedalsvassdraget. Since the G. salaris-charr association is persistent in Pålsbufjorden and has a wide distribution above the stretches of the watercourse inhabited by anadromous salmonids, this is considered a stable, although perhaps relatively young, host-parasite system. More detailed analyses of these interactions revealed seasonal variations in the parasite population dynamics between late summer and late autumn, with heavier infections occurring in males and older fish in October. This is explained by the combined action of seasonal differences in temperature and physiology and ecology of host cohorts. It is assumed that the occurrence of G. salaris on charr in Pålsbufjorden resulted from a host switch to charr from rainbow trout, Onchorynchus mykiss. Host switches may cause significant expansions of the geographical range of pathogenic variants of G. salaris. Therefore, observations of frequently occurring G. salaris on charr have implications for the diagnosis, management and control of salmonid gyrodactylosis.


Distribution Epidemiology 



We thank Cathrine Vollelv, Henning Pavels, Guro K. Sandvik, Terje Laskemoen and Bjørn R. Hansen for help in the field, and Åge Brabrand and Henning Pavels (Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries Laboratory, NHM) for background information and help to determine sex and age of the fish. The project was supported by the Directorate for Natural Resources (DN contract nr. 05040026) and the Norwegian Research Council’s Wild Salmon Programme (Project nr. 145861/720).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grethe Robertsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kjetil Olstad
    • 1
  • Laetitia Plaisance
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lutz Bachmann
    • 1
  • Tor A. Bakke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyNatural History Museum, University of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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