DAO 38:201-210 (1999)  -  doi:10.3354/dao038201

Infectious necrotizing enteritis and mortality caused by Vibrio carchariae in summer flounder Paralichthys dentatus during intensive culture*

Bruno Soffientino1, Todd Gwaltney2, David R. Nelson2, Jennifer L. Specker1, Michael Mauel3, Marta Gómez-Chiarri4,**

1University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography, South Ferry Rd, Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882-1197, USA
2Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Genetics, 3Laboratory of Vector Borne Diseases, and 4Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island 02881, USA
*All authors contributed equally to the authorship of this article
**Addressee for correspondence. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: An epizootic causing mortality among cultured summer flounder Paralichthys dentatus occurred in summer of 1998 at a land-based facility on Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, USA. The disease, flounder infectious necrotizing enteritis (FINE), was characterized by reddening around the anal area, distended abdomens filled with opaque serosanguineous fluid, enteritis and necrosis of the posterior intestine. In extreme cases of the disease, the posterior intestine was detached from the anus and was observed coming out the vent. The intestine of individuals that recovered from the disease ended in a blind-sac; the abdomens of these fish were distended, due to food and water inside the intestinal blind-sac. A bacterium was isolated from ascites fluid and kidney of moribund flounder and identified as the causative agent in challenge experiments. The pathogen was identified as Vibrio carchariae by morphological and biochemical characteristics and sequence of the 16S rRNA. The LD50 estimate was 5 x 105 colony-forming units injected intraperitoneally into 100 to 200 g summer flounder.


KEY WORDS: Flounder infectious necrotizing enteritis (FINE) · Vibriosis · Enteritis · Paralichthys dentatus · Vibrio carchariae · Aquaculture


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