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Morphological, histological and PCR study of "Knife syndrome" caused by Enteromyxum leei in gilt-head bream (Sparus aurata)

Conference in Seminarios de Investigación Doctorado en Veterinaria

April 10th, 2019

Mayoral-Alegre F.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the incidence of intestinal parasitosis in the marine fish species of our country, highlighting "Enteromyxum leei", an intracellular protozoa of the intestine that has become a threat to the farms of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), both in cages in the open sea, as in estuaries. This mixosporidium causes an important inflammatory reaction of chronic type in the intestinal mucosa, giving rise in its last stage to cachectic fish with a "sharp" corporal aspect (hence the knife syndrome for this pathology).

In this study, several diagnostic methods have been developed and implemented to improve the identification of the parasite, some of them with novel methodology, capable of approaching the quantification of the parasitic load and, therefore, the severity of the picture. In addition, in the absence of authorized pharmacological treatment, an alternative therapeutic route has been carried out by feeding with nutraceuticals (FOD). These foods favor the regeneration of the intestinal villi, reducing the presence of the parasite, increasing the epithelial replenishment and increasing the absorption capacity of the enterocytes.

The preliminary histopathological and morphometric comparative results have shown us a greater development of the intestinal villi in animals fed with FOD in the diet, appreciating a greater density of villi, as well as a greater length of the same, which greatly reduced the intestinal lumen.

It can be concluded that the administration of an alperujo to golden diet favors the cellular replacement of the intestinal mucosa and the elimination of intracellular parasites at this level, with the consequent sanitary improvements and the productive performance of the animals.


Universidad ComplutenseServicio de Patología y Veterinaria Forense (SAP). Centro de Vigilancia Sanitaria Veterinaria (VISAVET). Universidad Complutense (UCM).

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Veterinary PhD Research Seminars

Veterinary PhD Research Seminars
October 1st, 2018 - Jun 30th, 2019

TITLE: Estudio morfométrico, histológico y por PCR del "síndrome de Cuchillo" provocado por Enteromyxum leei en doradas (Sparus aurata)

TYPE: Oral communication

AUTHORS: Mayoral-Alegre F.

DATE: April 10th, 2019


Mayoral-Alegre F. Morphological, histological and PCR study of "Knife syndrome" caused by Enteromyxum leei in gilt-head bream (Sparus aurata). Veterinary PhD Research Seminars, Facultad de Veterinaria. Universidad Complutense, April 10th, 2019. (Oral communication)