Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Allen, Peter J.

Committee Member

Griffin, Matthew

Committee Member

Wise, David

Committee Member

Rosser, Thomas, G.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


The trematode Bolbophorus damnificus (Digenea: Bolbophoridae) has deleterious effects on production efficiency of farm-raised catfish. The effects of B. damnificus on channel and hybrid catfish, as well as the prevalence and longevity of the trematode stages impacting production, are not well understood. This study aimed to understand the prevalence of infected snails, determine the longevity and site specificity of B. damnificus cercaria in catfish, and compare mortality and physiological response between channel and hybrid catfish during infection. The infectivity and survival of B. damnificus cercariae declined significantly at 12h intervals from 12-36h, and subsequent trials were standardized using cercariae <12h old. Metacercariae persisted in both fish types for 13 months and were found commonly in the posterior midsection. Hybrid catfish exhibited lower mortality than channel catfish. Exposed catfish exhibited anemia corresponding to parasite encapsulation, however no difference was found between fish types in physiological response during infection and subsequent recovery.



US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (Grant Number 58-6066-5-042) USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (Grant Number 1006942; Project Number 58-6402-2729) USDA Catfish Health Research Initiative (CRIS 6402-31320-002-02) Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES) Mississippi State University College of Forest Resources Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine.