Hematological responses to whirling disease in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were investigated. Two-mo-old fingerling rainbow trout were exposed to cultured triactinomyxon spores of Myxobolus cerebralis at 9,000 spores/fish in December, 1997. Twenty-four wks post-exposure, fish were taken from infected and uninfected groups for peripheral blood and cranial tissue sampling. Histological observations on cranial tissues confirmed M. cerebralis infection in all exposed fish. Differences in hematological parameters between the two groups included significantly lower total leukocyte and small lymphocyte counts for the infected fish. No effects on hematocrit, plasma protein concentration, or other differential leukocyte counts were noted.
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Vol. 37 • No. 2