Black Carp: Biological Synopsis and Risk Assessment of an Introduced Fish

Chapter 8: Associated Diseases and Parasites


A wide range of parasites and diseases have been reported for black carp Mylopharyngodon piceus, including various types of viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoans and myxozoans, flukes or digeneans (formerly called digenetic trematodes), gillworms, tapeworms, roundworms, and crustaceans (e.g., copepods and fish lice) (Table 8.1). Some parasites of black carp also are known to infect humans, including the Chinese liver fluke Clonorchis sinensis (causal agent of clonorchiasis) and the small intestinal fluke Metagonimus yokogawai (causal agent of metagonimiasis). Human infection results from consumption of raw or undercooked fish. Many of the diseases and parasites associated with black carp are based on examination of cultured fish or fish held in ponds. Under such conditions, diseases and infection are probably much more prevalent. Less appears to be known about wild populations. The tradition of collecting snails from the wild and providing them to captive black carp held in ponds is apparently common in China (Lee 1957:60; Wu et al. 1964b; Hickling 1968:58; Bardach et al. 1972; IHAS 1976; Chang 1987). This practice more than likely has contributed, inadvertently, to the spread of parasites and disease.