The effect of Goezia leporini Martins & Yoshitoshi, 2003 (Nematoda: Anisakidae) infection on the haematological characteristics of cultivated Leporinus macrocephalus (Osteichthyes:Anostomidae) was studied. Paleness of gills, kidneys, liver and heart, black spots on the kidney and accumulation of fluid in the visceral cavity, stomach and intestines were observed. Gall bladder content had pale and translucent aspect. Strong and slight positive correlations between number of nematodes and fish weight were estimated within the 0-100g and 100-200g fish weight group, respectively. Blood smears from infected fish showed variation in erythrocyte size (anisocytosis) and shape (poikilocytosis), and also dividing erythrocytes. No significant alteration (P>0.05) was shown as to erythrocyte, leukocyte count, haemoglobin concentration and thrombocyte and monocyte percentage. Parasite infection provoked significant reduction (P<0.05) in hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration and lymphocyte percentage. On the other hand, significant increase (P<0.05) in neutrophil and eosinophil percentage in circulating blood of infected fish was observed. This is the first report regarding haematology of nematode infected freshwater cultivated fish in Brazil.
Brazilian fish; piauçu; Leporinus macrocephalus; Nematoda; Goezia leporini; haematology