75764 - Parasitic Diseases of Aquatic Animals

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Marialetizia Fioravanti (Modulo 1) Andrea Gustinelli (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Cesena
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Aquaculture and Fish Production Hygiene (cod. 8834)

Learning outcomes

Main aim of the course is to furnish to the student a good knowledge about parasitic diseases of fish, molluscs and crustaceans, with main reference to their etiopathogenesis, prevention and control. Furthermore the student will acquire practical skills on diagnosis of main parasitic diseases of aquatic animals.

Course contents

The course is organized in two modules: Parasitic Diseases of fish (60 hours) and Parasitic Diseases of crustaceans and molluscs (20 hours).
Contents of Parasitic Diseases of fish:
General section: Introduction to parasitology - Basic terminology in parasitology - Definition of the “host/parasite” relations with particular reference to aquatic organisms and aquatic environment - What is a “parasitic disease” and which are the main abiotic and biotic factors influencing its occurrence in aquatic animals, with main reference to confined environments - Illustration of the life cycle of parasites owing to several taxa and factors conditioning the different phases of their cycle - Pathogenic effects of the parasites: basic concepts of pathogenic effects caused by parasites on the host - Importance of fish parasites in Public Health - Taxonomic approach to the parasites of aquatic animals. Special section: Etiopathogenesis, clinical and anatomopathological aspects, epidemiology, diagnosis, prevention and control of fish parasitic diseases: Parasitic diseases due to Sarcomastigophora (Amiloodiniosis, Piscinoodiniosis, Ichthyobodosis, Cryptobiosis, Enteric infections by flagellates, Trypanosomiasis, Amebiasis) - Parasitic diseases due to Ciliophora (Ictioftiriasis, Cryptocaryonosis, Chilodonellosis, Trichodinosis, Infections due to sessiline peritrichs and by Scuticociliatida) - Parasitic diseases due to Apicomplexa (Coccidiosis) - Parasitic diseases due to Microsporidia - Parasitic diseases due to Myxozoa (Whirling Disease and Proliferative Kidney Disease of salmonids, Enteromyxosis, Sphaerosporosis, minor Myxosporidioses) - Parasitic diseases due to Platyhelminthes Monogena (Dactylogyrosis., Gyrodactylosis, Diplectanosis, Sparicotylosis) - Parasitic diseases due to Platyhelminthes Digenea (Opisthorchiasis, Diplostomosis, Clinostomosis, Cardicolosis) - Parasitic diseases due to Platyhelminthes Cestoda (Dyphillobothriasis, Triaenophorosis, Ligulosis, Botrhiocephalosis) - Parasitic diseases due to Nematoda (Anguillicolosis, Anisakidosis) - Parasitic diseases due to Acanthocephala - Parasitic diseases due to Arthropoda Crustacea - Mycotic diseases (Saprolegniosis, Ichthyophonosis).
Contents of Parasitic Diseases of crustaceans and molluscs:
Parasitic diseases of crustaceans - Microsporidiosis, Aphanomycosis or Plague of crayfish and other mycotic diseases.
Parasitic diseases of bivalve and cephalopod molluscs - Bonamiosis, Marteiliosis, Perkinsosis, coccidiosis, diseases due to Myxozoa, helminths and copepod crustaceans.



Powerpoint presentations used by the teacher during the course and uploaded on the Piattaforma "Virtuale" (https://virtuale.unibo.it/)

Reccomended for insights:

Fish Diseases and Disorders. Vol I. Protozoan and Metazoan Infections (2006), Ed. P.T.K. Woo, CAB Intern., Wallingford, UK.

Fish parasites. Pathobiology and Protection (2011), Eds. P.T.K. Woo & K Buchmann, CABI, Wallingford, UK.

Teaching methods

The module of Parasitic Diseases of fish is composed of 44 theoretical hours and 16 practical hours, while the module of Parasitic Diseases of crustaceans and molluscs is composed of 16 theoretical hours and 4 practical hours. The theoretical lectures take place in a teaching room properly supplied with web-connected PC and PC video-projector, with the backing of power-point slides. The practical lectures, carried out in a properly equipped teaching lab, provide for a constant presence of the teacher and its co-operators together with the students, with introductive and explanatory discussions. Every practical training activity is carried out singly by the students and submitted to discussion with the teacher.

Due to any epidemiological emergencies from COVID-19, the methods of administration of the teaching activities may undergo changes in order to allow the student to follow all the hours of lectures and practices of the teaching course.

Assessment methods

The assessment of learning is through a final exam, which verifies the acquisition of knowledge and skills expected by conducting a practical part, followed by an oral examination composed of one question on contents of the module Parasitic Diseases of fish and one question on contents of the module Parasitic Disease of crustaceans and molluscs. The practical part consists in the recognition of a parasitic agent and subsequent description of the parasitic disease sustained by it. This part of the exam represents an assessment of the ability to apply the practical tools learned during the teaching course and useful for the recognition of parasitic agents of aquatic animals in the context of diagnostic procedures. Students who have acquired at least 18 points in the practical test take the oral test, which aims to ascertain the knowledge acquired on the topics covered during the two modules of the course as well as to evaluate their critical, independent analysis and connection skills matured in relation to parasitic diseases of aquatic animals of major importance for animal health and for public health issues. The exam is passed when the candidate obtains a minimum score of 18 points out of 30. The following grading criteria will be followed: preparation on a very limited number of topics covered in the course and analytical skills that emerge only with the help of the teacher, expression in an overall correct language (18-19); preparation on a limited number of topics dealt with in the course and ability to autonomous analysis only on purely executive matters, expression in correct language (20-24); preparation on a large number of topics covered in the course, ability to make independent choices of critical analysis, mastery of specific terminology (25-29); substantially exhaustive preparation on the topics covered in the course, ability to make autonomous choices of critical analysis and connection, full mastery of specific terminology and ability to argue and self-reflection (30-30L).

Teaching tools

PC video-projector, web-connected PC, teaching lab equipped for parasitological analyses, microscopy and staining techniques of biological specimens.

Office hours

See the website of Marialetizia Fioravanti

See the website of Andrea Gustinelli


Good health and well-being Clean water and sanitation Oceans

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.