Pyceze™ (Novartis Animal Vaccines Ltd.) is licensed as a veterinary medicine to treat fungal infections in salmon, trout and their eggs. The active ingredient is bronopol, which due to its broad-spectrum activity has the potential to be an effective treatment against other important aquatic pathogens. In this study the efficacy of bronopol against Ichthyophthirius multifiliis was tested both in vitro and in vivo. In vitro trials demonstrated a 30min exposure to 100mgL -1 bronopol killed 51.7% of the infective theronts. In vitro exposure of the protomonts to bronopol (0, 20, 50 and 100mgL -1) for 30min was observed to kill 0%, 76.2%, 97.2% and 100% respectively. Protomonts surviving treatment, demonstrated delayed development with the time taken from protomont until the release of theronts ranging from 28.3h for 0mgL -1 exposure, to 70h for parasites in 20 and 50mgL -1 exposure groups. These concentrations also caused asymmetric cell division of the encysted tomonts. Exposure of encysted tomonts (min. 8cell stage) to 100mgL -1 bronopol for 30min, killed 50% within this period, with the remainder dying within the subsequent 42h post exposure. Lower doses of bronopol were less effective in killing encysted tomonts than the higher doses (3.3% of parasites were killed in 20mgL -1; 10% in 50mgL -1), but they still delayed theront release significantly (25.7h for 0mgL -1 to 46.2h for parasites exposed to 20-50mgL -1).Long, low dose (1mgL -1) exposure to bronopol was also efficacious against theronts. Survival after 12h was 29% (c.f. 100% in control parasites), and <1% after 24h exposure (c.f. 74% in control parasites). Theronts surviving these exposures demonstrated reduced infection success compared to control theronts. The findings of this study demonstrate that bronopol (Pyceze™) affects the survival of all free-living stages of I. multifiliis (protomonts, tomont and theronts), thus suggesting that bronopol may serve a useful role in the control of I. multifiliis infections.
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