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Evaluation of continuous 4-day exposure to peracetic acid as a treatment for Ichthyophthirius multifiliis

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The parasitic ciliate Ichthyophthirius multifiliis infests all species of freshwater fish and can cause severe economic losses in fish breeding. The most effective treatment, malachite green, has been banned in Europe and North America for use in food fish production. Peracetic acid (PAA) was found to be toxic to I. multifiliis theronts at low concentrations. I. multifiliis-infested carp were exposed to 1 mg/l PAA in a dynamic exposure by means of peristaltic pumps. Five days after infestation, gills, tail fins, and skin below the dorsal fin were observed microscopically for I. multifiliis abundance. After PAA exposure, PAA-treated fish showed lower infestation of I. multifiliis in all investigated tissues than the unexposed control fish. The infestation increased in the control group whereas the infestation in the PAA-exposed groups significantly decreased (p = 0.0083, Bonferroni correction). The fish in the two exposure groups showed a slight reinfestation with I. multifiliis. This might be caused by a peroxide degradation (hydrolysis) and/or reduction of the delivered PAA concentration. Thus, PAA concentrations were possibly too low to be effective on the released trophonts and/or the infective theronts. This hypothesis is corroborated by the fact that the I. multifiliis in the gills, skin, and fins of the PAA-exposed carp were in an early developmental stage.

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We would like to thank the Schreiner-Foundation, Greppin, Germany, Czech Research Project (MSM no. 6007665809), and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic project (QH 71305) for funding this study. We thank Prof. Svobodova, Mr. Bradley Farmer, and Dr. Bart Green for providing critical reviews of the manuscript. Studies were conducted in accordance with institutional, national, and international guidelines concerning the use of animals in research. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the US Department of Agriculture.

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Correspondence to Eliška Sudová.

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Sudová, E., Straus, D.L., Wienke, A. et al. Evaluation of continuous 4-day exposure to peracetic acid as a treatment for Ichthyophthirius multifiliis . Parasitol Res 106, 539–542 (2010).

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