2007 Volume 42 Issue 4 Pages 211-217
The present study suggests that the myxosporean emaciation disease by enteric infection of Enteromyxum leei disrupts intestinal water uptake of tiger puffer Takifugu rubripes. This idea is based on a significant negative correlation between plasma chloride concentration and condition factor in diseased fish, and significantly higher osmolarity of plasma and major ion concentrations of the intestinal fluid in infected fish than in healthy control fish. Additionally, surgical ligation of the junction between the stomach and the intestine of healthy fish resulted in a 24% drop of body weight within 50 h, and significantly lower water content of the white muscle (operated fish 74 ± 0.5%; sham-operated fish 82 ± 1%). However, in vitro water uptake by isolated intestine sacs was not significantly different between the control and infected fish. Meanwhile, hepatic function appeared to be impaired as evidenced by the significantly lower hepato-somatic index (control fish 8.7 ± 0.8%; infected fish 2.7 ± 0.8%). Plasma activities of LDH, AST and ALT were all significantly lower in the infected fish. We propose that rapid loss of body weight of infected tiger puffer is mainly due to osmoregulatory failure but probably malnutrition is also involved in the pathogenesis.