Hatchability and survival of oncomiracidia of Paradiplozoon ichthyoxanthon (Monogenea: Diplozoidae) exposed to aqueous aluminium

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Monogenea is a diverse group of ectoparasites showing great potential as sentinel organisms for monitoring environmental health. Exposure to metals negatively affects infrapopulations of monogeneans and exposure to aluminium has been found to negatively impact the survival of gyrodactylids. Methods: Samples of infected host fish, the smallmouth yellowfish Labeobarbus aeneus (Cyprinidae), were collected from the Vaal Dam, South Africa and transported back to the laboratory in dark 160 l containers. Eggs of the monogenean Paradiplozoon ichthyoxanthon infecting L. aeneus were collected and exposed to varying concentrations of aluminium along with a control group in static tanks. The eggs were checked every 24 h and hatching commenced 13-14 days after exposure. Water samples were taken from exposure tanks and acidified for analysis of Al levels with inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Results: Hatching of eggs was variable between exposures, and in 30 μg Al/l and 60 μg Al/l was found to occur before eggs in control beakers, whereas, exposure to 120 μg Al/l delayed hatching and reduced hatchability. Survival of hatched oncomiracidia was concentration dependent and negatively correlated with aluminium concentrations. Lowest survival was recorded for 60 μg Al/l and 120 μg Al/l where all larvae died shortly after or during hatching. Normal development of embryos of P. ichthyoxanthon within eggs exposed to all doses of aluminium indicates that the egg shell is moderately impermeable to metals and inhibits movement of aluminium across the shell and interacting with developing embryos. Conclusions: Higher larval mortality rate in 120 μg/l exposure can be related to aluminium crossing the egg shell in the late stages and causing death of unhatched yet fully developed embryos, possibly due to changes in the permeability of the egg shell as embryos neared developmental completion. Accelerated death of oncomiracidia after hatching indicates sensitivity toward high concentrations of aluminium.

Original languageEnglish
Article number420
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2016


  • Heavy metals
  • Larval development
  • Metal accumulation
  • Parasite indicators
  • Pollution
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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