Managing ichthyophonus in multi-species exhibits at the two oceans aquarium
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Ichthyophonus hoferi has been diagnosed in multiple species at the Two Oceans Aquarium, this study focuses on Rhabdosargus globiceps (White stumpnose). I. hoferi is a mesomycetozoan parasite that multiplies in blood rich organs in the fish hosts causing a wide range of clinical signs resulting in organ dysfunction. I. hoferi can be diagnosed from microscopic examination of tissue squash preparations, culture, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and histopathology. In the literature only lethal methods of diagnosis are described. The development of a non-lethal diagnostic tool for disease monitoring is vital for collections where euthanasia of specimens is not possible.