Current status of parasitic ciliates Chilodonella spp. (Phyllopharyngea: Chilodonellidae) in freshwater fish aquaculture

G. Bastos Gomes, D. R. Jerry, T. L. Miller, K. S. Hutson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Freshwater fish farming contributes to more than two-thirds of global aquaculture production. Parasitic ciliates are one of the largest causes of production loss in freshwater farmed fishes, with species from the genus Chilodonella being particularly problematic. While Chilodonella spp. include ‘free-living’ fauna, some species are involved in mortality events of fish, particularly in high-density aquaculture. Indeed, chilodonellosis causes major productivity losses in over 16 species of farmed freshwater fishes in more than 14 countries. Traditionally, Chilodonella species are identified based on morphological features; however, the genus comprises yet uncharacterized cryptic species, which indicates the necessity for molecular diagnostic methods. This review synthesizes current knowledge on the biology, ecology and geographic distribution of harmful Chilodonella spp. and examines pathological signs, diagnostic methods and treatments. Recent advances in molecular diagnostics and the ability to culture Chilodonella spp. in vitro will enable the development of preventative management practices and sustained freshwater fish aquaculture production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-715
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Fish Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Current status of parasitic ciliates Chilodonella spp. (Phyllopharyngea: Chilodonellidae) in freshwater fish aquaculture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this