Classification: Taxonomic ranks under review (cf. Illustrated Guide to Protozoa, Allen Press). Protista (unicellular eukaryotes) Ciliophora (with cilia, nuclear . Ichthyophthirius multifiliis is a ciliated protozoan that causes. “Ich” or “white spot disease.” This disease is a major prob- lem to aquarists and commercial fish. The name Ichthyophthirius multifilis translates to “fish louse with many children”, a title that fits well, as each parasite may produce more than a.

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They form a gelatinous cyst and undergo a series of divisions producing from to 2, tomites which are subsequently released and actively search for new hosts. Secondary bacterial and fungal infections are common when the fish is impaired from the parasite.

Taxonomic ranks under review cf. This page has been accessed 13, times. Pages — In P.

Finally, special care is required when treating fish in soft water because formalin is more toxic in soft water. The adult parasite moves slowly by tumbling. Southern Regional Aquaculture Center.

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Fish surviving infection exhibit some protective immunity against subsequent infections. Fish diseases and disorders — volume 1: The growing trophozoite do not reproduce on the fish, but when they reach a certain size, they leave the pustules as tomonts and encyst on plant surfaces or on the bottom of the fish tank.

Also, formalin removes oxygen from the water and can damage the gills of the fish, ichthyohthirius adding an air stone during treatment is highly recommended. These lesions look like small white dots, blisters, or salt grains on the skin or fins of the fish.


The parasite attacks the epidermis of the skin and fins, the gill filaments and the cornea and can kill fish by interfering with their gill function and osmoregulation.


In addition to chemical treatment, cleaning the tank will also decrease the number of parasites. Use of copper sulfate during hot weather or when algae phytoplankton blooms are dense is strongly discouraged. The trophonts form greyish pustules in the skin of their hosts where they feed by ingesting host cell debris.

These cysts produce hundreds of infective stages tomites which are released as swarmers theronts which actively seek new hosts. Heavy infections of the gill filaments interfere with gas exchange and may prove fatal. These factors include decreased temperature, predatory cues crowding or fightingand increased levels of UV-B radiation. There is no dormant stage in the life cycle. How Ich kills fish is not exactly known, however observations give possible explanations. Development Upload file Commons.

Temperature affects how quickly the parasites multiply, so increasing the temperature can force them through their life cycle more quickly, allowing treatments to target Ichthyophthirius in its theront stage.

CIR/FA Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (White Spot) Infections in Fish

Infections have been detected in numerous species of aquarium and wild freshwater fish throughout the world. Mesodiniea MesodiniumMyrionecta.

Of the life stages shown Figure 1only the free-swimming theronts are susceptible to chemical treatment. Prior to the appearance of white spots, fish may mulrifiliis shown signs of irritation, flashing, weakness, loss of appetite, and decreased activity. Fish should be closely watched during recovery because the weakened fish may be susceptible to a secondary bacterial infection. Siamese fighting fish with a spot ichthyophthirjus ich between the eyes.


Amnesic shellfish poisoning Brevetoxin Ciguatera Diarrheal shellfish poisoning Fish kill Neurotoxic shellfish poisoning Paralytic shellfish poisoning Saxitoxin. However, if the infection is at an advanced stage, treatment protocols are not followed, and the fish are stressed, higher death rates will occur. Lesions containing engorging trophonts appear as visible white spots covering infected fish. Because copper sulfate is an algaecide, its use may lead to severe oxygen depletions; therefore, emergency aeration should always be available.

Careful cleaning of the tank can help to treat an infestation with Ichthyophthirius multifiliis.

Bottled spring water can be an acceptable clean, fresh water source. White spots should never be used as the only means of diagnosis because other diseases may have a similar appearance. Use of formalin to control fish parasites. A number of commercial preparations are available from pet stores that contain one or more of these agents.

By the time the white spots are visible to the naked eye, the infected fish is very sick. The outer lay of gill cells may separate and result in loss of fluids, making the fish struggle to regulate water concentration in the body. Life cycle of Ich. When Ich infects the gills, the outer layer of the gills become inflamed, restricting the flow of oxygen to the blood. Because of the covering by this epithelial tissue and mucus, the trophont stage is protected from chemical treatment.