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A prospective of epidemiological intervention in investigation and management of argulosis in aquaculture

Abstract

Argulus, an obligate macroectoparasite, infests a wide range of fishes causing severe economic loss to aquaculture industry. The application of chemotherapeutants is the most common approach to combat argulosis. But it is very expensive and has a range of negative impacts on the host and environment. An alternative to the extensive use of chemotherapeutics is to restrict Argulus infestation by adopting a range of biosecurity and quarantine measures. However, before adopting these measures it is essential to adequately understand the complex interaction among the host, parasite and environment, in order to identify key factors affecting parasite dynamics and to formulate a possible management strategy. Epidemiology provides key tools to advance our understanding of diseases and allows bringing convergence in controlling the disease. Compared to terrestrial diseases, relatively few epidemiological studies have been conducted to investigate aquatic animal diseases. For Argulus spp., the complex real-world dynamics of transmission, reproduction and the host specificity and the role of these parasites as a vector for various pathogens are very complex to develop an effective epidemiological framework. This review principally focuses on the application of epidemiological concepts, providing insights about the sampling frame, commenting upon the use of simple deterministic susceptible-infected-removed models and examines the determinants of transmission and spread of argulosis. Further, this paper describes the risk factors associated with Argulus infestation and the importance of risk analysis in intervention against its epizootics. Overall, this review is intended to highlight the need for development of a more extensive epidemiological approach to combat argulosis in aquaculture.

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Acknowledgments

Authors are thankful to Dr. H. Rahman,  Director and Dr. M.R. Gajendragad, Principal Scientist, ICAR-National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology & Disease Informatics, Bengaluru, India, for providing the quality information required for the present review.

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Correspondence to Saurav Kumar.

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Saurav Kumar and T. Sathish Kumar have contributed equally to this work.

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Kumar, S., Sathish Kumar, T., Vidya, R. et al. A prospective of epidemiological intervention in investigation and management of argulosis in aquaculture. Aquacult Int 25, 303–325 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10499-016-0030-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10499-016-0030-0

Keywords

  • Argulus
  • Aquaculture
  • Risk factor
  • Risk analysis
  • Epidemiology