Figure 1. Multiple giant cells in the peritoneal cavity of salmon, a response to vaccine, its bright red character apparent (arrows). Similar to so-called Splendore-Hoeppli reactions (asteroid bodies).

Multinucleated cells, often simply called giant cells, are found in a variety of situations in teleost fish. They are not uncommon in granulomatous inflammatory responses, such as bacterial kidney disease, proliferative kidney disease, or as a response to vaccine, and are a result of fusion of macrophages or epithelioid cells. They are also found in virus infections, so-called syncytial giant cells, in which a number of non-macrophage cells, such as hepatocytes, fuse together. But giant cells are also found in normal fish as osteoclasts. Although...

Syncytial Hepatitis of Tilapia – Transmission Electron Microscopy

Transmission electron micrograph from liver of fingerling tilapia with SHT. Virus particles, typical of orthomyxovirus, can be seen between and within cells (arrows).

Tilapia are considered to be relatively resistant to many of the common diseases that beset other farmed fish. Viral diseases, however, are not common, and there are only a few reports in the literature. Syncytial Hepatitis of Tilapia (SHT) is a newly described viral disease reported from several countries where tilapia farming is present. This virus is a member of the Orthomyxoviridae family. It has been demonstrated within hepatocytes of affected fish. The described ultrastructural changes provide further evidence to support the previous suggestion of...