Neuromusculature of Gyrodactylus rysavyi, a monogenean gill and skin parasite of the catfish Clarias gariepinus

Safaa Z Arafa, Mohammed M El-Naggar, Samir A El-Abbassy, Michael T Stewart, David W Halton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Phalloidin fluorescence technique, enzyme cytochemistry and immunocytochemistry in conjunction with confocal scanning laser microscopy were used for the first time to describe the nervous and muscle systems of the viviparous monogenean parasite, Gyrodactylus rysavyi inhabiting the gills and skin of the Nile catfish Clarias gariepinus. The body wall muscles are composed of an outer layer of circular fibres, an intermediate layer of paired longitudinal fibres and an inner layer of well-spaced bands of diagonal fibres arranged in two crossed directions. The musculature of the pharynx, intestine, reproductive tract and the most prominent muscles of the haptor were also described. Two characteristic muscular pads were found lying in the anterior region of the haptor in close contact with the hamuli. To each one of these pads, a group of ventral extrinsic muscles was connected. The role of this ventral extrinsic muscle in the body movement was discussed. The mechanism operating the marginal hooklets was also discussed. The central nervous system (CNS) consists of paired cerebral ganglia from which three pairs of longitudinal ventral, lateral and dorsal nerve cords arise. The nerve cords are connected at intervals by many transverse connectives. The CNS is better developed ventrally than dorsally or laterally and it has the highest reactivity for all neuroactive substances examined. Both the central and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) are bilaterally symmetrical. Structural and functional correlates of the neuromusculature of the pharynx, haptor and reproductive tracts were explained. The results implicated acetylcholine, FMRFamide-related peptides (FaRPs) and serotonin in sensory and motor function. The results were compared with those of the monogeneans Macrogyrodactylus clarii and M. congolensis inhabiting the gills and skin respectively of the same host fish C. gariepinus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-307
Number of pages11
JournalParasitology International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • Animals
  • Catfishes
  • Fish Diseases
  • Gills
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Muscles
  • Nervous System
  • Skin Diseases, Parasitic
  • Trematoda
  • Trematode Infections


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