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[Parasitology] experimentally parasitize zebrafish?

Michael Robinson via parasite%40net.bio.net (by mike.robinson from bio.miami.edu)
Tue Apr 1 12:41:09 EST 2008

Dear list,

I am relatively new to the list, so I apologize if you have covered this
already.  But I looked in the archives and couldn't find anything.  

I am advising an undergrad research project, and I am looking for information on
ways to experimentally parasitize small freshwater fish (zebrafish).  I am not
too concerned about the type of parasite, as long as I can collect them
afterwards and they are not too small.  I'd prefer a parasite that weighed at
least 0.5 mg per individual, but I can always pool individuals if necessary. 
We have found some information (see below), but I was hoping someone would have
some advice or experiences that they wouldn't mind sharing.

Thank you very much!

What I am thinking and what I have found:

I want to parasitize small, readily available freshwater fish.  I am thinking
zebrafish (Danio rerio).  I have access to a non-parasitized control group

For a variety of reasons, I would prefer to use Camallanus (or a similar
nematode parasite).  I know that McMinn (1990) experimentally infested guppies
with Camallanus, but I’m not quite sure how he did it.  It seems he just took
cysts and put them in the aquarium and shortly afterwards the fish were
parasitized.  Can anyone shed light on this for me?  Does anyone know where I
can find him?  Is it possible to buy these cysts commercially?

It looks like I can also parasitize the fish with Gyrodactylus (a monogean)
either by placing the parasite on the fish directly or housing parasitized fish
with non-parasitized fish.  I have a number of references on this already.  I
get the impression that these worms are easy to obtain from fish stores and
possibly from the wild.  Is that true?

Again, thank you all very much for your time!

McMinn, H. (1990) Effects of the nematode parasite Camallanus cotti on sexual
and nonsexual behaviors in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata). Am. Zool. 30(2):


Michael P. Robinson 
Dept. of Biology              University of Miami
P.O. Box 249118               Coral Gables FL 33124-0421 

mike.robinson from bio.miami.edu   web: www.bio.miami.edu/robinson 
305-284-4313                  fax: 305-284-3039

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