Host and Environmental Influences on Development of Disease

Schmidt-Posthaus, Heike; Wahli, Thomas (2015). Host and Environmental Influences on Development of Disease. In: Okamura, Beth; Gruhl, Alexander; Bartholomew, Jerri L. (eds.) Myxozoan Evolution, Ecology and Development (pp. 281-293). Cham: Springer 10.1007/978-3-319-14753-6_15

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While many myxozoan parasites produce asymptomatic infections in fish hosts, several species cause diseases whose patterns of prevalence and pathogenicity are highly dependent on host and environmental factors. This chapter reviews how these factors influence pathogenicity and disease prevalence. Influential host factors include age, size and nutritional state. There is also strong evidence for host strains that vary in resistance to infection and that there is a genetic basis for resistance. A lack of co-evolutionary processes appears to generally underly the devastating impacts of diseases caused by myxozoans when introduced fish are exposed to novel parasites (e.g. PKD in rainbow trout in Europe) or when native fish are exposed to an introduced parasite (e.g. whirling disease in North America). Most available information on abiotic factors relates to water temperature, which has been shown to play a crucial role in several host parasite systems (e.g. whirling disease, PKD) and is therefore of concern in view of global warming, fish health and food sustainability. Eutrophication may also influence disease development. Abiotic factors may also drive fish disease via their impact on parasite development in invertebrate hosts.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Center for Fish and Wildlife Health (FIWI)

UniBE Contributor:

Schmidt-Posthaus, Heike and Wahli, Thomas


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture








Heike Schmidt Posthaus

Date Deposited:

09 Feb 2016 15:10

Last Modified:

11 Feb 2016 09:23

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Pathology, Host age and size, Host identity, Disease resistance, Temperature, Eutrophication




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