Relative resistance of the Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and the Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) to the parasitic larvae (Glochidia) of the freshwater mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) Public Deposited

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  • The relative resistance of the coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and the chinook salmon (O. tshawyscha) to the parasitic larvae (glochidia) of the freshwater mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) was studied in an attempt to determine why the coho appeared to be more resistant. Natural and acquired antibody was sought in the mucus and plasma of the coho and chinook salmon using microtiter and gel diffusion plates. Whole mucus and plasma from fish not possessing the parasite were tested for lethality by observing living glochidia in each. Mucus and plasma from both species were fractionated using Sephadex G-200 gel. Total protein and lethality to living glochidia were determined for fractions possessing high protein levels. Histological sections were made at periodic intervals into the infection period to determine how the coho salmon sloughed the parasite from its gill filaments after a week into the parasitic period, while the chinook salmon held the parasite on its gills for 12 weeks. Acquired antibody was sought in the mucus and plasma of both species every 2 weeks into the parasitic period. This is the first documented report of what appears to be acquired antibody to the glochidia of M. margaritifera. Antibody precipitates appeared in the plasma of both infected coho and chinook salmon at 8 and 12 weeks into the parasitic period. Histological sections showed encysted glochidia of M. margaritifera being sloughed by coho salmon due to increased cellular hyperplasia (cell proliferation) in the area of the cysts. No such hyperplastic reaction was noted in the gills of the chinook salmon. Natural antibodies were not found. Lethal proteins, if present, in mucus or plasma of uninfected fish are too weak to play an important role in the coho's resistance to glochidiosis.
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