JANNICKE WIIK-NIELSEN / VETINST / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JANNICKE WIIK-NIELSEN / VETINST / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the attachment hooks of a Gyrodactylus salaris aquatic parasite. G. salaris is a small monogenean ectoparasite (about 0.5 mm long) which lives mainly on the skin and fins of freshwater fish, especially Atlantic salmon. Feeding mostly on the mucus and epithelial cells of the skin's surface it attaches to the host by means of a complex hook and anchor arrangement and it is this attachment which damages tissues and causes great irritation to the fish. The fish shows obvious signs of irritation and the damaged areas can develop into significant skin ulcers and fin erosions, often with secondary bacterial and fungal infections. Magnification: x1430 when printed at 10cm wide.
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