The physiological and behavioural effects and skin damage caused by salmon lice Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Krøyer) infections on sea trout Salmo trutta L. smolts were greater in fish infected with lice 2 wk after seawater transfer than in fish infected 6 wk after seawater transfer. The initial prevalence of infection was 100% for both groups and the intensity of infection decreased significantly with time over 5 wk. Significantly fewer of the fish infected 2 wk after seawater transfer had resumed feeding by the end of the experiment, leading to a loss of body condition. Furthermore, these fish suffered more severe damage to the skin and detrimental changes in physiological integrity than fish infected 6 wk after seawater transfer as a direct consequence of feeding preadult lice, leading to osmoregulatory failure and death. Although this study was carried out in laboratory conditions, results indicate that lice infections may potentially have a detrimental impact on the survival of wild smolts after seawater transfer.
Additional details for this publication include:
This publication is also available in the following databases: