Sphaerospora ictaluri N. Sp. (Myxosporea: Sphaerosphoridae) Observed in the Kidney of Channel Catfish, Ictalurus punctatus Rafinesque

Ronald Hedrick, T. McDOWELL, J. M. GROFF

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Sphaerospores were found in the kidneys of alevin channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) from a farm in Central California. MulticelluUr developmental stages, similar to C‐blood protozoans described for Sphaerospora spp. from cyprinid fishes, were observed in circulating blood and numerous tissues. Upon a 2nd examination of the same population offish 10 days later, sporogonic stages were seen developing into mature Sphaerospores in the lumina of the kidney tubules. Sporogeoesis was asynchronous with simple unicellular stages adjacent to more complex forms with developing polar capsules and valves. Only one elliptical spore (5.6 μm in width, 6.5 μm in thickness by 5.8 μm in length) developed within the surrounding pscudoplasmodium. Thin valves surrounded two sporoplasm cells and two subspherical polar capsules (1.7 × 1.9 μm) which contained a polar filament with four to five turns. The blood stages of the Sphaerospora sp. described here are similar to the trophozoites seen in channel catfish with proliferativc gill disease (PGD). Early stages of PGD also observed in the same population of channel catfish containing developmental and sporogonic stages of this newly recognized Sphaerospora sp. may suggest a causal relationship between this new myxosporean and the gill disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-112
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of Protozoology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990



  • Channel catfish
  • gill disease
  • Sphaerosphoridae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology

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