Long-term environmental changes can influence parasite and host populations
Can freshwater fish parasites persist during periods of drought?
In an in-situ study examining anchorworms on Mozambique tilapia, the absence of rainfall and subsequent hypersalinity of floodplain pans released fishes from their freshwater anchorworm ectoparasites. Prior to and during drought, prevalence of infection was 100%, and 0%, respectively. The release of parasitism was associated with improved host liver and gonad condition.
Anchorworms infesting the body of a Mozambique tilapia.