Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 33–56 | Cite as

Trichodinidae in commercial fish in South America

  • Patricia Oliveira Maciel
  • Fabiana Garcia
  • Edsandra Campos Chagas
  • Rodrigo Yudi Fujimoto
  • Marcos Tavares-Dias


Ciliates of the family Trichodinidae are protozoan parasites of importance for fish farming in South America, given that at high infestation levels, they cause significant mortality among farmed fish. Although data on economic losses due to parasitosis are not available for South America, mortality outbreaks correlated to trichodinids are very common in the tilapia production chain, especially in Brazil, the largest aquaculture chain in the country. In Brazil in the past, trichodinids were considered only as Trichodina sp. Today, they have been better studied and identified taxonomically in wild and farmed fish. However, in other countries in South America, trichodinids continue to be described only as Trichodina sp. This review presents the history of occurrences of trichodinids in fish of interest in South America, highlighting 15 new species that have been described in three genera in Brazil, along with information on parasite-host-environment relationships, diagnostic methods and treatments. The occurrence of parasitic ciliates must be correlated with farming conditions such as stress factors, water quality, seasonality, age and host immunity to elucidate the critical points of each production system. Furthermore, for tropical fish, studies on treatment against trichodinid species are needed to provide support for approval of antiparasitic medications for use in fish farming. However, it is recommended that the production sector use intensive production systems that are more sustainable, with biosafety protocols, to increase production and productivity.


Aquaculture Fish Disease Parasites Protozoan Trichodina 



We thank Daniel Chaves Webber, analyst at Embrapa Fishery and Aquaculture, for drawing up the cartogram presented in this document; National Council for Research and Technological Development (CNPq, Brazil) for its technical support given to Dr. M. Tavares-Dias; and SEBRAE (Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service), CNPq (Amazon Pirarucu Project) and Embrapa (Project MP2-01/2012) for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Oliveira Maciel
    • 1
  • Fabiana Garcia
    • 2
  • Edsandra Campos Chagas
    • 3
  • Rodrigo Yudi Fujimoto
    • 4
  • Marcos Tavares-Dias
    • 5
  1. 1.Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa AgropecuáriaEmbrapa Pesca e AquiculturaPalmasBrazil
  2. 2.Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios/SAAVotuporangaBrazil
  3. 3.Embrapa Amazônia OcidentalManausBrazil
  4. 4.Embrapa Tabuleiros CosteirosAracajuBrazil
  5. 5.Embrapa AmapáMacapáBrazil

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