Citation AmbuAli A, Monaghan SJ, Al-Adawi K, Al-Kindi M & Bron JE (2019) Histological and histochemical characterisation of glands associated with the feeding appendages of Argulus foliaceus (Linnaeus, 1758). Parasitology International, 69, pp. 82-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.parint.2018.12.002
Abstract Argulus foliaceus (Linnaeus, 1758) is a member of the branchiuran family Argulidae, a group comprising parasitic “fish lice”. A. foliaceus is distributed worldwide and causes major economic impacts for cultured freshwater fish globally. The work described in this study was undertaken with the objective of identifying, describing and characterising glands associated with feeding in A. foliaceus. From structural and ultrastructural microscopic studies of A. foliaceus, three types of gland were determined to be associated with the pre-oral spine and mouth tube and were suggested to be involved in feeding activities. Two of these glands, the labial glands and the proboscis glands, appeared to secrete their products via the mouth tube and a third, the spinal gland, was connected directly to the pre-oral spine. The current study confirmed that the pre-oral spine delivers active secretions from the spinal gland, which may aid in immunomodulation, while the tubular labial spines and proboscis glands openings within the mouth tube may serve to enhance the feeding process by delivering salivary components to aid pre-digestion and immune-modulate the host. The suggested functions are supported by histological and histochemical staining, coupled with fluorescent lectin-binding assays, which enabled characterisation of the carbohydrate moieties associated with these glandular tissues.