DAO 105:225-235 (2013)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02607

Ketoconazole modulates the infectivity of Ichthyophonus sp. (Mesomycetozoa) in vivo in experimentally injected European sea bass

Francisco Hontoria*, Ma Angeles González, Ariadna Sitjà-Bobadilla, Oswaldo Palenzuela, Pilar Alvarez-Pellitero

Instituto de Acuicultura Torre de la Sal (IATS-CSIC), 12595 Ribera de Cabanes, Castellón, Spain

ABSTRACT: In vitro studies have confirmed the inhibitory effect of the azol-derivative ketoconazole (KZ) on the growth of Ichthyophonus, an important pathogen causing epizootics in wild and cultured fish. We evaluated the effect of KZ in vivo in European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax experimentally infected with the same Ichthyophonus isolate. Liposomes were used to vehiculate different doses of KZ to increase the effect on Ichthyophonus and lower the toxicity of the drug, and KZ toxicity was assessed in cultured sea bass juveniles. We also studied the effect of liposome-vehiculated KZ included in medicated food on ichthyophoniasis. KZ causes clear toxic effects in D. labrax juveniles at doses >80 mg kg-1, apparent in the reduced survival of fish and histological alterations to livers, kidneys and spleens. Fish injected with Ichthyophonus and treated with KZ dosages of ≤80 mg kg-1 d-1 presented lower ichthyophoniasis prevalence, fewer organs infected per fish, and fewer spores in the affected organs than the untreated fish. KZ seems to delay the onset of infection, but cannot stop further progression once established. However, this behaviour is not clearly reflected in the biometric and haematological data collected from these fish. We hypothesise that KZ’s delaying effect would increase, if lower infective doses (more similar to natural situations) were used. The drug administration vehicle (liposomes vs. emulsions) did not affect the results. Our data confirm the potential utility of KZ in treating ichthyophoniasis and reveal its low toxicity for sea bass. Nevertheless, the optimal dose and appropriate application protocol remain to be determined.


KEY WORDS: Ketoconazole · Ichthyophonus · Liposomes · Sea bass · Dicentrarchus labrax


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Cite this article as: Hontoria F, González MA, Sitjà-Bobadilla A, Palenzuela O, Alvarez-Pellitero P (2013) Ketoconazole modulates the infectivity of Ichthyophonus sp. (Mesomycetozoa) in vivo in experimentally injected European sea bass. Dis Aquat Org 105:225-235. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02607

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