Sphaerothecum destruens pathology in cyprinids.
Sphaerothecum destruens is a significant intracellular parasite of fish which has caused disease and mortalities in cultured north American Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha and Atlantic salmon Salmo salar. Several hosts for S. destruens have been identified within the Salmonidae family, and the histopathology of the infection can differ between hosts. Recently, S. destruens has been associated with the most invasive cyprinid species in Europe, topmouth gudgeon Pseudorasbora parva. Accurate disease identification based on thorough descriptions of clinical signs and histopathology in this new range of hosts is thus paramount to support further epizootiological studies. In this study, the associated histopathology of S. destruens infection is described along with its pathogenesis in the endangered cyprinid sunbleak Leucaspius delineatus. Histological examination of 100 L. delineatus in a wild population in the south of England revealed the presence of S. destruens infections, with a prevalence of 5% with S. destruens, suggesting an over-dispersed distribution within the L. delineatus sample. Clinical signs of the infection were absent, but histological examination revealed the presence of both disseminated and nodular lesions in several organs.