A study was initiated to ascertain the prevalence, effect and interaction of the adult stages of the parasitic copepod, Lernaeocera branchialis, on Atlantic cod concurrently infected with a hematozoan, Trypanosoma murmanensis, by comparing condition (K) factor, organ somatic indices, hematological values and lipid concentrations of the liver from infected and uninfected fish of comparable length. Prevalence of the copepod varied from 9 to 21% and was highest in fish examined on the southern coast of Newfoundland. Body condition and blood values were significantly lower in young cod infected with two parasites whereas only K-factor was altered in two size classes parasitized by one copepod. Although lipid concentrations were similar in three length groups of fish without and infected with L. branchialis, the pooled values were significantly greater among the infected group. Mortality occurred only in juvenile cod infected with the copepod and T. murmanensis concurrently. Cod which survived dual infections had lower K-factor and blood values than controls or fish harboring single, parasitic infections. It is concluded that an infection with an adult L. branchialis does not impair the health of fish in this area of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, but the presence of T. murmanensis concurrently can potentiate its effect.
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