Parasitic nematode infection indices were recorded in different fish species collected at Cartagena Bay, North of Colombia. Among 19 studied species, the Mugil genus presented the highest prevalence (83.9-100%), although Sciades herzbergii, Caranx hippos and Centropomus undecimalis were also found infected with nematodes. Parasites were found in the liver, intestinal mesenteries and encysted near the intervertebral joints, with an average parasite abundance of 4.0 ± 0.3 nematodes per fish. Morphological analysis allowed the identification of these nematodes as Contracaecum sp. A small, but positive correlation was found between parasite abundance and length (R=0.294, P<0.001) and weight (R=0.244, P<0.001). In contrast, the correlation between parasite abundance and condition factor was negative (R=-0.191, P<0.001). These results are the first describing the presence of nematodes in several fish species of this ecosystem, and it highlights the need for monitoring parasitism in Mugil species in order to avoid parasite ingestion during fish consumption.
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