Fish When small-sized fish are heavily infested with Lernaeid

Fish keeping is
considered an important source of entertaining activity as people keep
ornamental fish as pets. On the other hand fish is also a valuable protein source
to diet. Recently aquaculture has become more focused to parasitic infections
in fish because parasites seriously affects their yield and quality of life (Kennedy
1994).

 Fish serve as a host to number of parasites. Parasitic
infestations in fish enhance the threat of predator attacks if the their
appearance, fitness or behavior is changed (Poulin et al.
2005).

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 Lernaea are freshwater parasites and are
source of severe disease in fish. Lernaea is termed ‘anchor worm’ due to its
anchor like cranial parts by which they attach under the skin of the fish and
they can be found in both wild-caught and cultured fish. Lernaeid copepods are very
detrimental parasites of freshwater fish. Young fish are particularly susceptible
to this parasite as a small number of this parasite can kill them (Kabata 1982) (Molnár 1987).

Lernaea infected fish
present low levels of health due to metabolic disturbance, which in turn decreases
their capacity to grow. Large-sized fish are mainly susceptible to adult
parasites, because of the size of organisms and also by their way of access to
the host (Bhuiyan and
Musa 2008).

 When small-sized
fish are heavily infested with Lernaeid in the copepodid stage, then these
parasites abolish gills, resulting in abnormal breathing and eventually causing
death. Female parasites attach to the fish by using anterior anchor and embed profoundly
into the fish body. The part of skin around the affection site becomes reddish
and swells which may lead to hemorrhage and infection. Fish can bear small
number of parasites without any chief health issue but parasites act as a constant
source of irritation. Infestation finally results in inflammation of exaggerated
site and often leads to secondary bacterial infection due to skin barrier disruption