Parasite diversity of introduced fish Lates niloticus, Oreochromis niloticus and endemic Haplochromis spp. of Lake Victoria, Kenya

James Omondi Outa, Quinton Marco Dos Santos, Annemariè Avenant-Oldewage, Franz Jirsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This study reports on the status of metazoan fish parasites in Lake Victoria following the establishment of introduced Lates niloticus (Latidae) and Oreochromis niloticus (Cichlidae) and changes in environmental quality. For this study, 412 fish specimens were examined for parasites: 103 L. niloticus, 165 O. niloticus, 82 Haplochromis piceatus and 62 H. humilior (endemic cichlids). In total, 25 parasite taxa were identified: Lates niloticus (6), O. niloticus (19) and Haplochromis spp. (13). The myxosporean Henneguya ghaffari, prevalence (P) = 79% and the monogenean Diplectanum lacustris (P = 34%), were the dominant parasites on L. niloticus. Myxobolus sp. (P = 44%) was dominant on O. niloticus while for the haplochromines, metacercariae of ‘Neascus’ sp. (Diplostomidae) was dominant (P = 37%). Contrary to reports of high diversity of monogeneans on endemic species, the haplochromines harboured only Cichlidogyrus gillardinae (P = 6.9%). Oreochromis niloticus harboured seven monogenean species: Cichlidogyrus sclerosus, C. halli, C. tilapiae, C. quaestio, Scutogyrus longicornis, Gyrodactylus cichlidarum and G. malalai—they appear to have been co-introduced with the fish. Cichlidogyrus gillardinae, C. quaestio, G. malalai and the acanthocephalan Acanthogyrus (Acathosentis) tilapiae are recorded for the first time in Lake Victoria, representing new geographical records. Presence of A. (A) tilapiae in Haplochromis spp. indicates possible spillover from O. niloticus. Low prevalence and diversity of monogeneans, crustaceans and glochidia on the fish corresponded with increased pollution in the lake. Overall, changing environmental conditions and introductions of fish species have contributed to parasite community changes in Lake Victoria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1583-1592
Number of pages10
JournalParasitology Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Cichlids
  • Co-introduction
  • Environmental pollution
  • Nile perch
  • Parasite community changes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • General Veterinary
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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