Abstract

The parasite Peroderma cylindricum uses its host Sardina pilchardus to meet its own needs. The parasite can have many harmful effects on its host. The present study aims at investigating the impact of the parasite on the composition of fatty acids and the quality of the lipids of the sardine. Peroderma cylindricum reduces the total lipid content of its host by about 25% and decreases the content of saturated fatty acid and polyunsaturated acid. However, it increases the amount of monounsaturated fatty acids. The parasite induced a selective diversion of some fatty acids, which are dominated by the docosahexaenoic acid. Consequently, lower n-3 fatty acid content and omega-3/omega-6 ratio were recorded in parasitized sardines. Furthermore, both atherogenic and thrombogenic indices were found to be higher than those of unparasitized specimens. Nevertheless, these alterations do not lead to an important reduction of the nutritional value of the fish.

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