Investigation of Ichthyophthirius multifiliis infection in fish from natural water bodies in the Lhasa and Nagqu regions of Tibet

Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl. 2023 Dec 9:23:100894. doi: 10.1016/j.ijppaw.2023.100894. eCollection 2024 Apr.


This study aimed to examine the prevalence of Ichthyophthirius multifiliis in fish inhabiting natural water bodies in the Lhasa and Nagqu regions of Tibet in September 2020 and August 2021. The results showed that Schizopygopsis selincuoensis had the highest prevalence of I. multifiliis at 33.73% (56/166), followed by Triplophysa tibetana at 30.00% (6/20), Triplophysa brevicauda at 27.91% (12/43) and Schizopygopsis thermalis at 23.66% (31/131). No infection with I. multifiliis was observed in exotic fish species. In addition, the prevalence of I. multifiliis in Boqu Zangbo (river), Selincuo Lake and Cuona Lake in the Nagqu region was found to be significantly higher than that in Lalu Wetland and Chabalang Wetland in the Lhasa region (P < 0.05). The study revealed a significantly lower prevalence in Lhasa River than in Cuona Lake (P < 0.05). Notably, our findings revealed instances of I. multifiliis infections even in saline water bodies, thereby emphasizing the potential threat that this parasite poses to the preservation of indigenous fish resources in Tibet. Consequently, immediate and effective countermeasures are imperative. This study represents the first systematic investigation of I. multifiliis infection in natural water bodies in Tibet.

Keywords: Ichthyophthirius multifiliis; Native fish; Prevalence; Qinghai-tibet plateau; Salinity.