Published: 2022-12-09

Page: 1209-1220


Animal Production Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Tishreen University, P.O.Box-2233, Latakia, Syria and General Establishment of Fisheries and Aquatic Livings, P.O.Box-121, Latakia, Syria. 


Tishreen University, Higher Institute for Environmental Research, Latakia, Syria.


Animal Production Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Tishreen University, P.O.Box-2233, Latakia, Syria and MARBEC, Université Montpellier, Ifremer, IRD, CNRS, 34200 Sète, France.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


The present study aimed at isolating ectoparasite species and blood-sucking parasite- affecting wild Mugil cephalus and Scomber scombrus, and evaluating the impact of infection on the chemical composition of their muscles. A total of 238 individuals of M. cephalus and 224 of S. scombrus were captured from Syrian marine waters (Eastern Mediterranean) through two years, from April 2020 to April 2022. Fish samples were examined for infection, and parasites were isolated according to the wet smears method and identified at species level. Chemical composition: proteins, fats, moisture and ash contents of muscle of two species studied were determined. Variations of these different components in the infected and non-infected samples, and according to months or season, age and sex were assessed. Results showed the infection of M. cephalus by Ligophorus mediterraneus, Ergenstrema sp. (Monogenea) and Caligus pageti (Copepoda), whereas, only one ectoparasite species: Kuhnia scombri (Monogenea) was identified from S. scombrus. This is actually the first record of Ergenstrema sp; C. pageti and K. scombri in the two species studied in Syrian marine waters. This is also the first record of Ergenstrema sp. in wild M. cephalus in the world. No significant differences in the content of moisture, protein and ash were observed between the infected and non-infected fish. Nevertheless, fat content has showed a significant (P-value <0.05) decrease in the samples infected by the blood-sucking parasites- (i.e. C. pageti and K. scombri) in both species studied. In addition, significant differences of the chemical composition according to season and age were also found, but not between females and males.

Keywords: Ectoparasites, blood-sucking parasites, chemical composition, fish muscles, Mugil cephalus, Scomber scombrus, Syrian marine waters, Eastern Mediterranean

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