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Occurrence and impact of an epizootic disease (Myxobolus sp., Protozoa, Myxosporidia) on a population of the cyprinid fish Barbus barbus (L.) in the river Ourthe (Belgium), during the summer of 1993
Philippart, J.C.; Baras, E. (1993). Occurrence and impact of an epizootic disease (Myxobolus sp., Protozoa, Myxosporidia) on a population of the cyprinid fish Barbus barbus (L.) in the river Ourthe (Belgium), during the summer of 1993. Belg. J. Zool. 123(Suppl. 1): 56-57
In: Belgian Journal of Zoology. Koninklijke Belgische Vereniging voor Dierkunde = Société royale zoologique de Belgique: Gent. ISSN 0777-6276, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Proceedings 21/3 [57488]
Document types: Conference paper; Summary

Keywords
    Rivers; Barbus barbus (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Myxobolus Bütschli, 1882 [WoRMS]; Myxosporidia; Protozoa [WoRMS]; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Philippart, J.C., more
  • Baras, E.

Abstract
    In late June 1993, the first symptoms of an epizoocy ("Beulenkrankheit der Barben") (1) caused by Myxobolus sp. (Protozoa, Myxosporidia) were detected in a population of Barbus barbus (Pisces, Cyprinidae) from the mid River Ourhe (River Meuse Basin, Southern Belgium). The infestation dynamics was studied throughout summer by electrofishing (EPMC, 2.4 KV A) in the station where the epizoocy was first documented and completed by surveys in various stations upstream and downstream (longitudinal extension = 30 km). The infestation dynamics suggest a single infestation centre, with more than 50 % of the barbel population nearby infested by the protozoans. All age classes above 2+ (15 cm, fork length) were affected by the disease and specially the large barbels (>= 35 cm FL, mainly females; ± 90 % ). No trace of infestation was detected in the alevins and juveniles. The upstream extension of the infested stretch (± 1.5 km) is consistent with the home range behaviour and weak summer mobility demonstrated in adult barbels (2). Census of abundance and composition of shoals of barbels suggest that 95 % of the infested fishes die from the epizootic disease or leave the stretch. The downstream movements of these fishes spread the disease far beyond the di stances expected from home range behaviour, extending the infested area on 20 km and potentially threatening the populations of the lower pan of the River Ourthe. The impact of the epizootic disease on barbel stock is estimated at ± 0.54 -0.67 ton/km within the infested stretch. Besides, since many large females were infested, the population dynamics could be strongly influenced affected within he next 5 years. Although not clearly evident, it is believed that this epizootic disease emerged from the conjunction of exceptionally dry and hot weather during spring in the most densely populated stretch of the river.(1) E. BARAS (1993). In press. Cah. Ethol. 13.(2) B.HOFER (1904). Handbuch der Fische Krank Heiten, Schweizerbaret, Stuttgart.

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