Amyloodiniosis is a disease that represents a major bottleneck for semi-intensive aquaculture, especially in Southern Europe. The inefficacy of many of the treatments for this disease on marine fish produced in semi-intensive aquaculture has led to a new welfare approach to amyloodiniosis. There is already some knowledge of several welfare issues that lead to amyloodiniosis as well as the stress, physiological, and immunological responses to the parasite by the host, but no work is available about the influence of fish age on the progression of amyloodiniosis. The objective of this work was to determine if stress, hematological, and histopathological responses are age dependent. For that purpose, we determined the mortality rate, histopathological lesions, hematological indexes, and stress responses (cortisol, glucose, lactate, and total protein) in “Small” (total weight: 50 ± 5.1 g, age: 273 days after eclosion (DAE)) and “Big” (total weight: 101.3 ± 10.4 g, age: 571 DAE) white seabream (Diplodus sargus
) subjected to an Amyloodinium ocellatum
infestation (8000 dinospores mL−1
) during a 24-h period. The results demonstrated a strong stress response to A. ocellatum
, with marked differences in histopathological alterations, glucose levels, and some hematological indexes between the fish of the two treatments. This work elucidates the need to take in account the size and age of the fish in the development and establishment of adequate mitigating measures and treatment protocols for amyloodiniosis.
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