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Aquatic animal health

<em>Gyrodactylus garratti</em> n. sp. proposed Gyrodactylus garratti n. sp. proposed

The man behind the microscope

Research into various fish parasites and other health issues affecting aquatic animals is conducted at the Two Oceans Aquarium by David Vaughan, our researcher for aquatic animal health.

David’s research typically begins with the identification (taxonomy) of various parasites, which he discovers during routine checks, or when new animals arrive at the Aquarium to undergo a quarantine period. Once the parasites have been identified, research continues into their life-cycle and the impact of captivity on their potential virulence. Treatments, if necessary, are applied through an integrated strategy based on the various data obtained to break the parasite’s life-cycle. In this way, mere treatment of symptoms (which often results in re-infections) is avoided but the cause of disease is targeted.

David has 13 years' experience in public aquaria and holds a master's degree in marine parasitology specialising in Monogenea. David collaborates with various specialists world-wide and his research is disseminated through various international peer reviewed journals and symposia. Apart from a growing list of new species discoveries including the first marine Gyrodactylus species from the African continent and the “tokolosh” worm, research continues into new and improved parasite treatments.

Links to journals in which David has been published

Selected publications

  • Vaughan, D.B., and Chisholm, L.A. (2010). A new species of Neoheterocotyle Hargis, 1955 (Monogenea: Monocotylidae) from the gills of Rhinobatos annulatus Müller & Henle (Rhinobatidae) off the southern tip of Africa. Systematic Parasitology 77: 205 - 213

  • Vaughan D.B., and Christison K.W. (2010). A new species of Myxinidocotyle (Monogenea: Acanthocotylidae: Myxinidocotylinae) from captive sixgill hagfish, Eptatretus hexatrema (Chordata: Myxinidae), with amendment of the subfamily diagnosis. Zootaxa 2650: 47 – 56.

  • Vaughan D.B., and Chisholm L.A. (2010) Heterocotyle tokoloshei sp. nov. (Monogenea: Monocotylidae) from the gills of Dasyatis brevicaudata (Dasyatidae) kept in captivity at Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town, South Africa: Description and notes on treatment. Acta Parasitologica 55(2): 108 – 114.

  • Vaughan D.B.,Christison, K.W., Hanson, H., and Shinn A.P. (2010) Gyrodactylus eyipayipi sp. n. (Monogenea: Gyrodactylidae) from Syngnathus acus L. (Syngnathidae) from South Africa.Folia Parasitologica 57(1): 11 – 15.

  • Vaughan D.B.,and Chisholm L.A. (2009) Three Dendromonocotyle species (Monogenea: Monocotylidae) reported from captive rays, including D. lotteri sp. n. from Himantura gerrardi (Elasmobranchii: Dasyatidae) in the public aquarium at the Atlantis resort, Dubai. Folia Parasitologica 56(2): 99 – 106.

  • Vaughan D.B., Penning M.R., and Christison K.W. (2008) 2-Phenoxyethanol as anaesthetic in removing and relocating 102 species of fishes representing 30 families from Sea World to uShaka Marine World, South Africa. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research 75: 189 – 198.

  • Vaughan D.,Chisholm L., and Christison K. (2008) Overview of South African Dendromonocotyle (Monogenea: Monocotylidae), with descriptions of two new species from stingrays (Dasyatidae) kept in public aquaria. Zootaxa 1826: 26 – 44.

 

Selected symposium contributions

 

  • Vaughan D. B., and Chisholm, L. A. (2010). New monogeneans discovered on Rhinobatos annulatus (Rhinobatidae) from the southern tip of Africa. 12thInternational Congress of Parasitology (ICOPA). Symposium held in Melbourne, Australia from August 15 – 20.
  • Vaughan D.(2009). Aquarium health: managing malevolent menacing miscreants. 3rd International Marine Aquarium Conference of South Africa (IMACSA). Symposium held in Cape Town from  October 23 – 25.

  • Freeman M.A., Ogawa K., Christison K.W., Vaughan D.B., and Shinn A.P. (2009) Udonella Johnston, 1835: a hitchhikers guide. Sixth International Symposium on Monogenea. Symposium held in Cape Town from  August 3 – 7.

  • Vaughan D.,and Christison K. (2009) Monogenea: Lessons learned from public aquaria. Sixth International Symposium on Monogenea. Symposium held in Cape Town from  August 3 – 7.

  • Vaughan D.,and Chisholm L. (2009) Dendromonocotyle in public aquaria. Sixth International Symposium on Monogenea. Symposium held in Cape Town from  August 3 – 7.

  • Christison K., and Vaughan D. (2008) Velvet assassins: Amyloodinium ocellatum, potential disease risk for captive marine fishes in South Africa. Parasitological Society of Southern Africa, Symposium held in Onderstepoort (Pretoria) from  October 1– 3.

  • Vaughan D.,and Christison K. (2008) South African Hexabothriidae: History, Public Aquarium importance, challenges and the way forward. Parasitological Society of Southern Africa, Symposium held in Onderstepoort (Pretoria) from October 1– 3.

  • Vaughan D.,Christison K., and Mouton A. (2008) Haematological examination as a tool to determine the efficacy of oral praziquantel in individually pit-tagged Seriola lalandi (Yellowtail kingfish) infested with Zeuxapta seriolae (Monogenea: Heteraxinidae). South African Marine Science Symposium. Symposium held in Cape Town from  June 29 –  July 3.

  • Vaughan D.B. andChristison K.W. (2007). Cryptocaryon irritans: Food-fish for thought. 7th International Symposium of Fish Parasites. Symposium held in Viterbo, Italy. From  September 24 – 28.

  • Vaughan D.B.and Christison K.W.(2006) Preliminary results of the biological investigation of Cryptocaryon irritans. Frontier Programme for Mariculture Research Workshop.  Symposium held in Cape Town, South Africa. From  December 29 – 30.

  • Vaughan, D.B.and Christison, K.W. (2005) Integrated Parasite Management: The future of disease treatment in public aquaria and mariculture in South Africa.  South African Marine Sciences Symposium.  Symposium held in Durban, South Africa. From July 4 – 7 .

  • Vaughan, D.B.and Christison, K.W.  (2005)  Preliminary record and diversity of parasite species at uShaka Sea World a reflection for the need for Integrated Parasite Management.  South African Marine Sciences Symposium.  Symposium held in Durban, South Africa. From  July 4 – 7.