The present study performed three experiments to establish a practical prevention strategy for the ectoparasitic flagellate Ichthyobodo salmonis and ciliate Trichodina truttae in hatchery-reared juvenile chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta using dietary supplementation with oregano essential oil. Experiment 1 showed that a diet supplemented for 3 weeks with 0.02% oregano essential oil significantly prevented infection with I. salmonis and T. truttae in juveniles reared in small tanks. Experiment 2, in outdoor hatchery ponds, demonstrated that the oregano treatment completely prevented I. salmonis infection for 52 days and T. truttae infection for 38 days. Oregano-treated juvenile mortality attributable to infection with these protozoans also decreased to 7.6% of control juvenile mortality, confirming the utility of this treatment in cultured O. keta. Physiological analyses of the oregano-treated juveniles elucidated the treatment's safety in relation to their metabolism, osmoregulation, natural immunity and olfactory responses and also detected carvacrol (a major component of oregano essential oil which shows antimicrobial activity) on the skin. In experiment 3, exposure of the two protozoans to oregano essential oil revealed a weak antiparasitic action on the body surface of the juvenile O. keta. The overall results demonstrate that dietary oregano supplementation is a practical prevention strategy for I. salmonis and T. truttae in hatchery-reared juvenile O. keta and suggest the possibility that its anti-parasitic action is attributable to a component of the oil that emerges onto the skin of the body of the fish.
Keywords: Ichthyobodo salmonis; Oncorhynchus keta; Trichodina truttae; oregano essential oil; prophylaxis.
© 2018 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.