DAO 37:53-59 (1999)  -  doi:10.3354/dao037053

Efficacy of orally administered oxolinic acid and Vetoquinol, an oxolinic acid ester, for the treatment of furunculosis in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar held in seawater

Ole Bent Samuelsen*, Brit Hjeltnes, Lise Torkildsen

Institute of Marine Research, Department of Aquaculture, Strandgaten 229, PO Box 1870, Nordnes, N-5817 Bergen, Norway
*Present address: Department of Pharmacology, Armauer Hansens Hus, N-5021 Bergen, Norway. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: This study was performed to determine the efficacy of orally administered oxolinic acid and Vetoquinol, an oxolinic acid ester, in the treatment of experimental induced furunculosis in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar held in seawater. Two strains of the causative bacterium Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida, 1 sensitive (VI-88/09/03175) and 1 resistant (3475/90) to oxolinic acid, were used. In 2 trials, cohabitational challenges were performed by introducing 8 fish challenged in advance by an intraperitoneal injection of 2.2 x 104 colony forming units of strain 3475/90 (Trial 1) or strain VI-88/09/03175 (Trial 2) to 10 aquaria each containing 40 healthy fish. The treatment groups in both trials consisted of 4 groups receiving either oxolinic acid (2 groups) or Vetoquinol (2 groups) and 1 control group. An unchallenged, unmedicated group was used to determine the natural mortality in the population. The recommended therapeutic dose of 25 mg oxolinic acid kg-1 fish at Days 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 following initiation of treatment was used. Oral medication initiated at Day 10 (Trial 1) or Day 11 (Trial 2) following challenge significantly (p < 0.05) lowered the specific mortality in all drug-treated groups compared to the untreated control groups. Mortality in Vetoquinol-treated groups was significantly (p < 0.05) lower than in oxolinic acid-treated groups in Trial 1 whereas no significant (p < 0.05) difference in survival rate was found between the medicated groups in Trial 2.


KEY WORDS: Efficacy · Furunculosis · Oxolinic acid · Vetoquinol · Atlantic salmon


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