Additional Information

The definitions indicated in this glossary are indicative; the terms may also have other meanings and different alternative definitions.

ABRASION: superficial injury to the muco-cutaneous surface in a limited area caused by rubbing or scraping off through an unusual or abnormal mechanical process.

ABSCESS: an enclosed collection of liquefied tissue, known as pus, surrounded by inflamated tissue, frequently associated with swelling. It is the result of the body’s defensive reaction to foreign material for example bacteria. Syn. furuncle, boil.

ACCURACY: the degree to which a given measurement is close to the true value for that measurement.

ACIDOPHILIA: technical term used by histologists to describe the microscopic appearance of cells and tissues which show affinity for acid dyes which usually acquires a pinkish tone.

ACUTE: disease course being severe very quickly, but in a short time.

ADHERENCE: a fibrous band or structure of connective tissue that binds together normally separate anatomical structures.

AETIOLOGY: the branch of medicine that deals with the causes or origins of disease. Study of the cause or origin of disease. Syn. etiology.

AFLATOXIN: any of a group of toxic compounds produced by certain molds, especially by some strains of Aspergillus flavus that contaminate stored food supplies.

AGGLUTINATION: specific reaction when a particular antigen clumps only in the presence of its specific antibody; providing means of identifying a disease agent.

ANADROMOUS: fish that migrate up rivers from the sea to spawn in fresh water as salmon.

ANAEMIA: a reduction in the haemoglobin of red blood cells with consequent deficiency of oxygen in the blood, leading to weakness.

ANEURYSM: an abnormal localized blood-filled sac formed by dilation of the wall of a blood vessel resulting from weakening of the vessel wall.

ANOPHTHALMIA: absence of one or both eyes. Syn. anopia.

ANOREXIA: loss of appetite.

ANOXIA: state end of hypoxia, where absence of oxygen supply in tissues and organs is complete. See also hipoxia.

ANTIBIOTIC: any chemical substances produced by different microorganisms, especially fungi, capable of destroying or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms, especially bacteria. Widely used in the prevention and treatment of bacterial diseases.

ANTIBODY: any of the numerous Y-shaped gamma globulin proteins found in the blood or lymph, and produced by B cells as a primary immune defence against foreign agents (antigens) that causes harm, as a virus, bacterium, parasites or toxins (proteins generally). Each antibody has a region that binds specifically to a particular antigen which it neutralizes. A common analogy used to describe this is the fit between a lock and a key.

ANTIGEN: a substance that when introduced into the body (non-self antigens as chemicals, toxins, bacteria, or viruses), stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies.

APLASIA: incomplete development or whole absence of a structure, organ, or tissue due to failure of development.

APOPTOSIS: the genetically programmed cell death. Is a normal physiological process that plays a fundamental role in the equilibrium between generation of new, and death of unnecessary, damage or senescent cells. It can also trigger by pathological processes and infection for example, by viruses.

ASCITIS: abnormal accumulation of serous fluid in the spaces between tissues and organs in the abdominal cavity. Syn. ascites.

ASEPSIS: all the processes or practices used to remove pathogenic viable organisms as bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microorganisms or to protect and prevent against infection by such organisms.

ATROPHY: a gradual loss of cells, tissues, or organs for death and/or reabsorption or degeneration of cells, diminished cellular proliferation, decreased cellular volume, and others caused by malnutrition, lessened function, or hormonal changes. Syn. wasting, atrophya

BACTERAEMIA: invasion of the bloodstream by viable bacteria, with or without signs. Syn. bacteriemia.

BACTERICIDE: an agent or a substance able to destroy bacteria such as disinfectants, antiseptics, or antibiotics.

BACTERIOSTATIC: a chemical or biological agent capable of inhibiting the growth or reproduction of bacteria. Syn. bacteriostat.

BASOPHILIA: technical term used by histologists to describe the microscopic appearance of cells and tissues which show affinity for basic dyes which usually acquire a bluish tone.

BENIGN: of no danger to health; not malignant or disease-causing; harmless:

BENTHONIC: living, relating to or happening on or in the bottom of a body of water. Syn. benthic.

BENTHOPELAGIC: living and/or feeding near the bottom as well as in midwater or near the surface.

BIOCIDE: any natural or synthetic chemical or microorganism that destroys, deters, renders harmless, or exerts a controlling effect on any harmful organism.

BIOMARKER: generally refers to a specific trait used to measure or indicate the effects or progress of a disease or condition. Biomarkers can be specific cells, molecules, genes, gene products, enzymes, or hormones. Syn. biological marker.

BROODSTOCK: in aquaculture, a group or a population of sexually mature individuals that are maintained and used for breeding purposes. Syn. Broodfish.

CACHEXIA: chronic condition of severe weakness, weight and muscle mass loss that cannot be reversed nutritionally. Cachexia is dominated by catabolic metabolism and can be a sign of various underlying disorders and disease conditions. Syn. wasting syndrome.

CALCULUS: an abnormal concretion, usually composed of mineral salts, occurring within the body, chiefly in hollow organs or their passages or in cysts. Syn. stone.

CARRIER: an organism that shows no clinical symptoms or signs of a specific disease, but harbors the infectious agent of that disease and is potentially capable of transmitting it to others. A carrier may be temporary (transient) or chronic.

CATADROMOUS: fish that migrate from freshwater to the sea to spawn.

CATARACT: opacity partial or complete of the lens of the eye or its capsule, causing impairment of vision or blindness.

CELLULAR MARKER: biochemical or genetic characteristics distinguishing one cell from another.

CLINICAL: involving or based on direct and practical observation of an animal, and its treatment.

CLINICALLY AFFECTED: live individual that at clinical examination, exhibits signs of disease.

CLINICALLY HEALTHY: live individual that at clinical examination does not exhibit signs of disease. The absence of signs however does not equal to be free from an infection that may be on its asymptomatic period, as during incubation.

CLONE: a group of cells or organisms that descended from and genetically identical to a single progenitor.

CONGESTION: an excessive or abnormal accumulation of blood or other fluid in a body part or a vessel, without haemorrhage.

CONTROL: Reduction of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, or mortality to a locally acceptable level as a result of deliberate efforts; continued intervention measures are required to maintain the reduction.

CULTURE MEDIUM: any sterilized liquid or solid nutrient preparation made specifically for the growth, storage, or transport of virus, bacteria, fungi, cells, etc.

CYST: abnormal membranous sac in the body containing a gaseous, liquid, or semisolid substance or a larval or adult stage of a parasite.

CYTOPATHIC EFFECT: degenerative changes in cells, especially in tissue culture, associated with the multiplication of certain viruses, detected at optical microscopy. Normally abbreviated as CPE.

DEGENERATION: gradual deterioration of specific cells, tissues, or organs with corresponding impairment or loss of function, caused by injury, disease, or aging.

DIAGNOSIS: the act or process of identifying or determining the nature and causes of a disease or injury through evaluation of the animal history, examination, and review of laboratory data.

DIAGNOSTIC: characteristic to identify a particular disease.

DISEASE: an abnormal condition of a part, organ, or system of an organism resulting from various causes, such as infection, inflammation, environmental factors, or genetic defect, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs.

DISSECTION: the act of dissecting; cutting so as to separate into pieces.

EGG-ASSOCIATED TRANSMISSION: spread of infection from one generation to the next, by contamination of the egg surface.

EMACIATION: abnormal thinness (leanness??) caused by lack of nutrition or by disease.

ENDOBENTHIC: organism that lives beneath the surface of the sea floor. Syn. endofaunal, endobenthonic.

ENOFTALMIA: condition or sign in which the eye is receded. A single or both eyes may be affected.

ENTERITIS: inflammation of the intestinal tract, especially of the small intestine.

ENZOOTIC: a disease constantly present to a greater or lesser degree in a given geographic area or population group. Syn. endemic disease.

EPIBENTHIC: organism that lives on the surface of the sea floor. Syn. epifaunal, epibenthonic.

EPIZOOTY: a disease affecting many animals at the same time; spreading in a short period in a specific area. Syn. epidemic.

EROSION: the superficial destruction of a surface area of tissue by friction, pressure, or trauma.

EUTHANASIA: human act of intentionally painless ending an animal life in order to relieve pain and suffering. Syn. humane killing.

EXOPHTHALMIA: condition or sign in which the eye is swollen and protrudes abnormally from the eye socket provoked by a number of different causes. A genetic selection in the former case or an infection by different aetiological agents in the latter. A single or both eyes may be affected. Syn. pop eye.

EXOTIC DISEASE: an introduced, alien, or non-native disease, being outside its native distributional range.

EXUDATE: any fluid or semifluid with a high content of proteins, white blood cells and cellular debris that has been deposited in tissues or on tissue surfaces, usually as a result of inflammation or injury. Syn. exudation.

FIBROSIS: development of an abnormal amount of interstitial fibrous tissue in an organ or part as the result of inflammation, irritation, or healing.

GASTRITIS: inflammation of the gastric mucosa, eventually erosive gastritis when surface epithelium disappeared or haemorrhagic or ulcerative gastritis when a concomitant haemorrhagic process appeared.

GRANULOMA: localized nodular skin inflammation formed by macrophages, lymphocytes, fibroblasts and melanomacrophages, caused by the persistence of acute inflammations triggered by agents like mycobacteria, fungi or inert foreign materials. Syn. fish bowl.

GREGARIOUS: tending to move in or form a group with others of the same kind as fish in shoals.

HAEMATOCRIT: percentage by volume of red blood cells in a given sample of blood. Syn. hematocrit.

HAEMOLYSIS: destruction of red blood cells which leads to the release of hemoglobin from within the red blood cells into the blood plasma. Syn. hemolysis, hematolysis.

HAEMORRHAGE: a profuse, rapid, and uncontrollable loss or outflow of blood from ruptured blood vessels. May be either external or internal. Syn. bleeding.

HEALTH: the overall condition of an organism at a given time, vigorous and free from disease.

HEPATOMA: tumor occurring in the liver.

HIPERTROPHY: increase in volume of a tissue or organ produced entirely by enlargement of existing cells.

HISTOLISIS: the breakdown and disintegration of organic tissue. Syn. histodialysis.

HISTOPATHOLOGY: the study of the microscopic anatomical changes in diseased tissues.

HOMEOSTASIS: state of equilibrium, as in an organism or cell, maintained by self-regulating processes.

HORIZONTAL TRANSMISSION: the spread of an from one individual to another, usually through contact with bodily excretions or fluids, such as mucus or blood, that contains the agent.

HOST: an organism on which or in which another organism lives.

HYPEREMIA: an abnormally large amount of blood in any organ or tissue due to an increase in the quantity of blood flow or dilatation of blood vessels. Syn. hyperaemia.

HYPERPLASIA: increased cell production in a normal tissue or organ. Syn. hypergenesis.

HYPOPLASIA: underdevelopment or incomplete development of a tissue or an organ.

HYPOXIA: condition in which cells, tissues, organs or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply. Syn. hypoxiation, anoxemia.

IMMUNIZATION: process by which an individual’s immune system becomes fortified against an agent (known as the immunogen). May be active or passive. Syn. immunisation.

IMMUNOLOGY: science dealing with the physiological ways in which the body protects itself from the presence of pathogen microorganisms, toxins or antigens triggering mechanisms of defense (immune respond).

IN SITU: in the original or natural place or position.

IN VITRO: made to occur outside a living organism in an artificial environment, such as a culture medium.

IN VIVO: occurring or carried out in the living organism.

INCIDENCE: number of cases of a particular disease in a given population in a period of time.

INFECTION: invasion and multiplication of pathogenic organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa not normally present within the body, resulting in tissue injury that can progress to disease:

INFECTIOUS DISEASE: one due to organisms that can multiply inside other organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and certain protozoa; it may be contagious.

INFESTATION: invasion and by chance, multiplication of parasites, resulting in tissue injury that can progress to disease:

INFILTRATION: pathological accumulation in tissue or cells of substances not normal to them or in amounts in excess of the normal.

INFLAMMATION: localized and no specific protective response of tissues that involves immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators, marked by capillary dilatation, leukocytic infiltration, redness, and pain and that serves as a mechanism initiating the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue.

INJURY: damage or harm with disruption of normal continuity of cells, tissues and organs. Syn. trauma, wound.

INOCULATION: act or an instance of introducing a pathogen, an antigenic substance or vaccine into a living organism or in a growth medium.

JUVENILE: animal similar to an adult, that has not reached sexual maturity.

KARYORRHEXIS: destructive fragmentation of the nucleus of a dying cell whereby its chromatin, into formless granules, is distributed irregularly throughout the cytoplasm.

LACERATION: a wound produced by the tearing of skin or flesh.

LARVA: earliest and immature free living form of any of various animals that undergo metamorphosis, differing markedly in appearance from the adult.

LESION: any pathological change or discontinuity of organs or tissues, including loss of function.

LETHAL DOSE 50: is the amount of a substance, given all at once, which causes the death of 50% (one half) of a group of test animals. Sometimes abbreviated LD50.

LETHALITY: proportion of cases in a designated population with a particular disease, which die in a specified period of time. Syn. case fatality rate.

LETHARGY: abnormal state or disorder characterized by lack of energy, muscle relaxation, slowness, and absence of reaction to external stimuli.

LORDOSIS: abnormal dorso – ventral curvature of the vertebral column.

MELANOSIS: abnormally dark pigmentation of tissues, resulting from a disorder of melanin metabolism. Syn. melanism.

METAMORPHOSIS: rapid changes in the form and the function, often in habits of an animal during normal development after the embryonic stage. For example, in insects, the transformation of a maggot into an adult fly and a caterpillar into a butterfly and, in amphibians, the changing of a tadpole into a frog.

MONITORING: regular and systematic observation, recording of activities, and gathering of information taking place in a planned activity to check on how activities are progressing towards achieving objectives and implementing adjust inputs where necessary.

MORBIDITY: number of persons who were ill of a specific disease, in a geographical locality during a given time interval.

MORIBUND: being in the state of dying or near death.

MORTALITY: number of persons who die of a specific disease, in a geographical locality during a given time interval.

MUCUS: viscous, slippery substance that consists chiefly of mucin, water, cells, and inorganic salts, produced by the lining of some organs of the body which serves primarily to protect and lubricate surfaces.

MYCOTOXIN: toxic secondary metabolite produced by a microfungi, especially molds, capable of causing disease and death in different organisms through inhalation, ingestion or epidermic absorption. Well known mycotoxin is aflatoxin.

NECROPSY: is an accurate and exhaustive examination of a corpse to determine the cause of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present. Syn. autopsy, post-mortem examination.

NECROSIS: pathologic death of cells, through toxins, injury, burning or disease, usually in a localized area of a tissue or organ.

NEOPLASIA: pathologic process that results in the formation and growth of new tissue, resulting in a benign or malignant neoplasm.

NEOPLASM: abnormal new mass of tissue, resulting of rapid and often uncontrolled growth of cells, which exceeds and is uncoordinated with that of the normal tissues, and persists in the same excessive manner after cessation of the stimulus which evoked the change. Syn. tumor, tumour.

NODULE: small, abnormal mass of tissue, usually as a knotlike protuberance, can be seen both internal or externally.

NOXIOUS: injurious to health, harmful to living things.

OCEANODROMOUS: fish that migrate within oceans typically between spawning and different feeding areas as tunas do. Migrations must be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.

OEDEMA: abnormal amount of fluid in the intercellular spaces of tissues or organs. Syn. edema.

OPPORTUNISTIC: organism that causes disease or harmless to other organisms only under certain conditions when host resistance has been impaired (weak immune system, disease, drug treatment, etc.) or when unusual circumstances help its growth and development.

ORTHOLOGS: genes in different species that evolved from a common ancestral gene by speciation; normally, orthologs retain the same function in the course of evolution.

OUTBREAK: in epidemiology, the sudden increase in the prevalence of a disease or condition of infection in a small, and localized group.

PAPILLOMA: small benign tumor, usually rounded or lobulated, consisting of an overgrowth of epithelial cells on a core of smooth connective tissue; common in skin, mucosae, and glandular ducts.

PARASITEMIA: presence of parasites in the blood. Syn. parasitaemia.

PATHOGEN: any organism that can cause disease, especially virus, bacteria, protozoa or fungus.

PATHOGENESIS: origin and development of a sickness.

PATHOGENICITY: capacity of an organism to produce disease in a host.

PATHOGNOMONIC: relative to a sign indicative of a given disease; it can be used to make a diagnosis.

PELAGIC: free swimming organism, living and feeding in the water column; nor in association with the bottom neither with the shore.

PETECHIA: tiny purplish spot on the surface of the skin or mucous membranes, caused by a minute and localized haemorrhage from an underlying ruptured blood vessel.

PHENOTYPE: the physical and biochemical characteristics of an organism as determined by the interaction of its genetic constitution and the environment.

PITHING: slaughtering technique in which the brain and the spinal cord of the animal is destroyed with a pithing cane or rod, pushed into the top of the head between the eyes and moved forwards and backwards to destroy the brain and proximal end of the spinal cord.

Done on animals to destroy sensibility preparatory to experimenting on their living tissue or to be killed or destroyed for safety reasons. This method is viewed as humane way of killing an animal, but should only be carried out on unconscious animals and acceptable when chemical methods are not appropriate.

PLASMA: the liquid portion conforming the main volume of the blood tissue. Plasma holds the cellular elements of whole blood in suspension and it contains or transport proteins, dissolved nutrients, inorganic salts and metabolic wastes.

POTAMODROMOUS: migrating within a hydrographic basin.

PRECISION: degree to which repeated measurements under unchanged conditions are close to each other.

PREVALENCE: number of specimens of a host infected with a given parasite species or number of cases of a disease present in relation to an examined population.

PROGNOSIS: a forecasting of the probable course and outcome of a disease, especially of the chances of recovery.

PROLAPSE: condition where organs or part of organs fall down or slip out of place from its natural position or relations.

PROPAEDEUTIC: preliminary collection of data by observation, palpation, temperature measurement, etc., recognizing and classifying the main signs in an animal for diagnostic purposes. Syn. propedeutic.

PROPHYLAXIS: proactive approach and practices that are designed to avert and avoid disease, reducing risk factors, enhancing protective ones, and avoiding the spread of diseases.

PROSECTOR: a skilled person with the special task of preparing or dissecting cadavers for anatomic demonstration or pathological examination.

PUSTULE: a small inflamed elevation of the skin that is filled with pus. Syn. pimple.

PYKNOSIS: irreversible condensation of chromatin in the nucleus of a cell to a solid, structure-less mass or masses with hypercromatism, undergoing necrosis or apoptosis. Syn. karyopyknosis.

QUIMIOTAXIS: movement by a cell or an organism as a reaction to a chemical stimulus.

REFLECT: to make apparent, visible or noticeable a thing.

REPRODUCTIVE: serving to reproduce / Employed in reproduction. Of or relating to reproduction.

RESERVOIR: anything (animal, plant, substance or combination of these) in which an pathogen agent normally lives; on which it depends primarily for survival, and where it reproduces itself in such manner that it can be transmitted to other susceptible organism.

RETICULOENDOTHELIAL: as part of the immune system, the phagocytic cells (primarily monocytes and macrophages) located in the reticular connective tissue. Syn. macrophage or mononuclear phagocyte systems.

SAMPLE: a small part of anything or a subset of a population, intended to show the quality, style, or nature of the whole.

SCOLIOSIS: a condition involving an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine.

SEPTICEMIA: systemic infection by pathogenic microorganisms, especially bacteria, that have invaded the bloodstream, usually from a local source. Syn. sepsis.

SERUM: the blood plasma devoid of the proteins (fibrinogen) involved in the clotting.

SIGN: objective evidences or characteristics of any disease, that can be observed.

SPONDYLOSIS: any degenerative condition affecting the vertebrae, resulting in abnormal fusion and immobilization of them.

STASIS: slowing or stoppage of the normal flow of a fluid or semifluid body substance, as of blood, in any part of the body.

STERILE: free from living germs or microorganisms.

STERILIZATION: total destruction of all microorganisms, their spores, and products, usually through the use of physical or chemical drastic methods.

STUMP: residual, rudimentary or vestigial fin.

SUBCLINICAL: of or relating to the stage in the course of a disease before the signs are first noted.

SYNDROME: the totality of the signs of a disease.

SYNERGISM: the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual contributions. Syn. Synergy.

TELANGIECTASIA: a vascular lesion caused by rupture of the pillar cells or its union in gills, but also easily seen in skin or mucous membranes. Syn. spider veins, angioectasia.

TELEOST: fish with completely ossified skeleton, caudal fin homocercal, cycloid or ctenoid scales, operculum covering the gills, and swimblader generally present. Comprises most living fish, both sea or freshwater.

THERAPEUTICS: the branch of medicine that deals specifically with the treatment of disease and the art and science of healing.

TOXICOLOGY: discipline concerned with the study of the harmful effects of chemical, biological and physical agents on organisms establishing the extent of damage in them.

TRANSMISSION: passage, transfer or spread of a infectious agent from one individual to another.

TRAUMA: serious injury, as a wound, to the body caused by a physical agent, generally extrinsic.

ULCER: localized lesion that is eroding away skin or mucous membranes, accompanied by the disintegration of tissue and necrosis, and often the formation of pus; heals very slowly.

VACCINE: any suspension used as a preventive inoculation to confer immunity against a specific disease, usually employing an innocuous form of the disease agent as killed, weakened or living (viruses, bacteria, or parasites) o their products to stimulate antibody artificial production or cellular immunity against the pathogen. In this way, the organism acquired “cellular or immunological memory”.

VECTOR: any organism that carries passively a pathogen agent to another living organism.

VEHICLE: inanimate object or substance (for example, food, milk, dust, clothing, instrument) by which or on which an infectious agent passes from an infected to a susceptible host.

VERTICAL TRANSMISSION: spread of infection from one generation to the next. For example as transmission by inside infection in the fertilised egg in fish.

VESICLE: a small, abnormal, circumscribed bladder like cavity, filled with fluid. Syn. blister.

VIREMIA: presence of viruses in the bloodstream.

VIRULENCE: the degree of pathogenicity to cause or promote the rapid onset of severe illness.

ZOONOSIS: any disease of animals communicable to humans.