The aim of this study was to develop a method to kill or expel the gill-dwelling crustacean parasite Paraergasilus rylovi from a common freshwater clam, Anodonta piscinalis. Naturally infected clams were exposed to different water-quality treatments and monitoring in the laboratory. In a high-temperature treatment (26 C vs. control 18 C), the mean abundance of the parasite decreased to near zero in 7 days. Because only 2 clams of 72 died in this treatment during the 14-day experiment, the survival of the host was not seriously at risk at the high temperature. ‘Low oxygen, no water change’ (18 C) was the second most effective treatment, followed by a ‘low-oxygen, water-flow’ (18 C) treatment. At the end of the experiment, the mean parasite abundance was significantly lower in all the treatments than in the control clams (18 C). A few P. rylovi individuals abandoned the host at 26 C but died in a couple of days outside the host. However, the parasites lived on average (±SE) 12.7 ± 0.9 days outside the clam, and were also shown to be capable of infecting another uninfected host individual, at 18 C. The results of the present study suggest that high temperature provides an effective, ecologically sustainable method to manipulate the intensity of P. rylovi infection.

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