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The black pomfret fish, Parastromateus niger, has been reported to have a natural range in the oceanic bay of Thailand, one of the biggest commercial fisheries in the Pacific region. It is an economically important marine fish because it is a favored source of high nutritional value for human consumption. A Lecithocladium infection is considered a problem for the health of fish, human consumption and commercial fisheries. Fifty specimens of P. niger were collected from local markets in Bangkok, Thailand and Lecithocladium spp. was recovered from their digestive tracts.The results showed that all parasite specimens were identified as L. cristatum via morphological characteristics. For molecular identification, the nucleotide sequence data of 18S rRNA were used for molecular analysis. Lecithocladium cristatum in this study showed 97% sequence identity with L. cristatum in the GenBank database. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that this trematode species is deeply embedded within the genus Lecithocladium. The prevalence and mean intensity of L. cristatum infections were 72.00% and 11.07, respectively. Hence, this work revealed the epidemiological situation of L. cristatum in P. niger by using the morphologica- and molecular-based methods. Moreover, this is a first report of L. cristatum in the black pomfret from Thailand. In addition, these data are important for the prevention of future Lecithocladium outbreaks.
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