DAO 121:161-166 (2016)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03044

NOTE
Susceptibility of common carp and sunfish to a strain of Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis in a challenge experiment

E. Lewisch1,*, S. Menanteau-Ledouble1, A. Tichy2, M. El-Matbouli

1Clinical Division of Fish Medicine, University of Veterinary Medicine, 1210 Vienna, Austria
2Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Platform, University of Veterinary Medicine, 1210 Vienna, Austria
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Francisellosis, an emerging disease in many fish species, can cause high mortality in affected populations. Here we investigated the susceptibility of common carp Cyprinus carpio and sunfish Lepomis gibbosus to Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis (Fno), and possible transmission of the bacteria between the 2 fish species. In a challenge experiment, 3 groups of each species were injected intraperitoneally (IP) with 3 different doses of an Fno strain no. 9449 of the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, recovered from naturally infected ornamental Malawi cichlids. Infected carp were cohabitated with sunfish and vice versa. Control groups were injected with 0.9M phosphate-buffered saline and cohabitated accordingly. Fish were sampled at different time points. Mortality of challenged sunfish was observed during the first 96 h and reached 56.1%. In the control sunfish, 4 of 16 fish (25%) died within 48 h. In carp, no mortalities or clinical signs were observed during the experiment. General clinical and patho-anatomical disease signs of affected sunfish were observed. We detected granulomas in 2 cohabitated sunfish and 1 challenged carp, but could not re-isolate Fno from these fish. Fno was successfully cultured from 6 sunfish and 3 carp specimens until 35 d post injection. PCR of spleen and kidney with 16S rDNA Francisella-like bacterium primers 180f and 485r yielded amplicons in 68.3% of challenged sunfish and only 12.2% of challenged carp. We demonstrated that sunfish were susceptible to Fno infection while the carp were not. Horizontal transmission of the agent between the 2 fish species could not be demonstrated.


KEY WORDS: Bacteria · Francisellosis · Cyprinus carpio · Lepomis gibbosus · Transmission


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Cite this article as: Lewisch E, Menanteau-Ledouble S, Tichy A, El-Matbouli M (2016) Susceptibility of common carp and sunfish to a strain of Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis in a challenge experiment. Dis Aquat Org 121:161-166. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03044

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