Two morphologically distinct forms of an intraerythrocytic parasite(s) were detected by microscopic observation of Giemsa-stained blood films in 45.7% of 119 rockfish (Sebastes emphaeus) from the San Juan Archipelago (Washington State, U.S.A.). Infection prevalence for both forms was 53% in males, 44% in females, and 33% in fish of undetermined gender. A binucleate "ring-stage" was present at all 4 geographic sites, with a mean prevalence of 45.7%, while mean prevalence of a larger gamont-like form from the same sites was 5.1%. The relationship of the 2 forms to each other could not be determined. Neither schizogony nor binary fission was evident in any of the infected erythrocytes and the parasites contained no obvious pigment. The possibility of the 2 morphologic forms being 2 distinct species is supported by the observation that no difference in parasitemia was seen in the binucleate form among sites (1.6-1.9%), while parasitemia of the gamont-like form varied significantly among sites, ranging from a high of 4% to a low of 0.1%. Taxonomic status of either form could not be determined at this time based on limited existing morphologic data. ?? American Society of Parasitologists 2005.
Additional publication details
Prevalence and spatial distribution of intraerythrocytic parasite(s) in Puget Sound rockfish (Sebastes emphaeus) from the San Juan Archipelago, Washington (USA)