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Care and Use of Animals

Zoonotic Diseases: Fish

Cryptosporidia: Cryptosporidium species have a worldwide distribution and can be found in many animal species including cats. Cryptosporidiosis is caused by protozoan parasites that live in the intestines of mammals. Cryptosporidiosis is transmitted by the fecal-oral route and can cause diarrhea in humans. Usually the diarrhea is self-limiting but in immunocompromised individuals the disease can have a prolonged course.

Prevention: Appropriate personal-hygiene practices which include washing hands after contact with animals or their waste should prevent spread of this organism.

Mycobacteriosis/Norcardiosis: Mycobacteriosis and nocardiosis are bacterial diseases of fish. In the fish external as well as internal lesions can be found resulting in anorexia, popeye, shin discolouration and external lesions such as ulcers, and fin rot. Transmission to humans is by bacteria entering abrasions. Persons infected with these bacteria may develop cysts or abscesses at the site of the abrasion that may ulcerate and scar.

Prevention: Wear protective gloves when cleaning fish aquaria or tanks as well as when handling or gutting fish.


Risk assessment- UC Davis

Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals, National Research Council; National Academy Press, 1997.

Center for Disease Control- Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases

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