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Histological damage and inflammatory response elicited by Monobothrium wageneri (Cestoda) in the intestine of Tinca tinca (Cyprinidae)

Bahram Sayyaf Dezfuli1*, Luisa Giari1, Samantha Squerzanti1, Alice Lui1, Massimo Lorenzoni2, Sidika Sakalli3 and Andrew P Shinn3

  • * Corresponding author: Bahram Sayyaf Dezfuli

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biology & Evolution, University of Ferrara, St. Borsari 46, 44123 Ferrara, Italy

2 Department of Cellular and Environmental Biology, University of Perugia, St. Elce di Sotto 5, 06123 Perugia, Italy

3 Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland, UK

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Parasites & Vectors 2011, 4:225  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-4-225

Published: 7 December 2011



Among the European cyprinids, tench, Tinca tinca (L.), and the pathological effects their cestodes may effect, have received very little or no attention. Most literature relating to Monobothrium wageneri Nybelin, 1922, a common intestinal cestode of tench, for example, has focused on aspects of its morphology rather than on aspects of the host-parasite interaction.


Immunopathological and ultrastructural studies were conducted on the intestines of 28 tench, collected from Lake Piediluco, of which 16 specimens harboured tight clusters of numerous M. wageneri attached to the intestinal wall. The infection was associated with the degeneration of the mucosal layer and the formation of raised inflammatory swelling surrounding the worms. At the site of infection, the number of granulocytes in the intestine of T. tinca was significantly higher than the number determined 1 cm away from the site of infection or the number found in uninfected fish. Using transmission electron microscopy, mast cells and neutrophils were frequently observed in close proximity to, and inside, the intestinal capillaries; often these cells were in contact with the cestode tegument. At the host-parasite interface, no secretion from the parasite's tegument was observed. Intense degranulation of the mast cells was seen within the submucosa and lamina muscularis, most noticeably at sites close to the tegument of the scolex. In some instances, rodlet cells were encountered in the submucosa. In histological sections, hyperplasia of the mucous cells, notably those giving an alcian blue positive reaction, were evident in the intestinal tissues close to the swelling surrounding the worms. Enhanced mucus secretion was recorded in the intestines of infected tench.


The pathological changes and the inflammatory cellular response induced by the caryophyllidean monozoic tapeworm M. wageneri within the intestinal tract of an Italian population of wild tench is reported for the first time.

Caryophyllidean; tapeworm; mucous cells; granulocytes; immune response