Body condition, hepatosomatic index and blood chemistry of Oncorhynchus mykiss experimentally infected with a tissue dwelling fish pathogenic fungus, Ichthyophonus hoferi, were monitored over a 6 wk period. This was to determine whether the infection constituted a stress manifest by changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary interrenal axis, and especially plasma cortisol levels. Infection caused anaemia and leucopenia but did not change the condition, hepatosomatic indices, or plasma chloride, cholesterol, cortisol, creatinine, glucose, osmolarity, potassium, total protein, sodium and T4. It is suggested that increased cortisol levels may not be a normal component of the stress response of fish to disease caused by invasive infectious agents.
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