The histopathology, ultrastructure, and immunohistochemistry of the alimentary canal of flounder Platichthys flesus (L.), naturally infected with the nematode Anisakis simplex s.l. (Rudolphi 1809) from the River Forth (Scotland), were investigated and described. Eight of the 16 flounders were infected with A. simplex s.l. larvae (L3); parasites were encapsulated by serosa on the external surface of the host's digestive tract (intensity of infection 1–8 parasites per host), although nematode larvae were found encysted under the peritoneal visceral serosa of the host spleen and liver and, occasionally, in the liver parenchyma (intensity of infection 3–10 parasites per host). In all sites, different structural elements were recognized within the capsule surrounding larvae. Among the epithelial cells of the intestine of 5 flounders with larvae encysted on external surface of the gut, the presence of several rodlet cells (RCs) was observed. Furthermore, often the occurrence of macrophage aggregates (MAs) was noticed in infected liver and spleen, mainly around the parasite larvae. Eight neuropeptide antisera were tested with immunohistochemistry methods on gut sections of 4 P. flesus infected with extraintestinal nematodes. Sections from the gut of 5 uninfected flounder were used for comparative purposes. In the tunica mucosa of parasitized P. flesus, several endocrine epithelial cells were immunoreactive to anti-CCK-39 (cholecystokinin 39) and -NPY (neuropeptide Y) sera; furthermore, in the myenteric plexus, a high number of neurons were immunoreactive to antibombesin, -galanin, and several to -NPY and -PHI (peptide histidine isoleucine) sera.

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