DAO 56:185-193 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/dao056185

Haematological analyses in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss affected by viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS)

J. Rehulka*

Department of Zoology, Silesian Museum, Tyrsova 1, 746 46 Opava, Czech Republic

ABSTRACT: Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss weighing 87 ± 15 g (mean ± SD) were infected with viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) and the haematological and biochemical profiles of peripheral blood examined. Depending on the clinical signs and gross pathology, the fish were divided into 2 groups: Group A included fish in the acute stage, Group B comprised fish in the chronic stage. Red blood cells were subjected to 6 haematological tests and blood plasma to 14 biochemical tests, which provided findings on changed substrate concentrations and enzyme activities. Diseased fish, compared to healthy fish, had a significantly lower red blood cell count, and lower haematocrit and haemoglobin levels. As for the biochemical parameters, the fish had less total protein, creatinine, glucose, triacylglycerol, inorganic phosphate, total calcium and sodium, and more blood urea, nitrogen and potassium. Uric acid levels remained unchanged. Increases were recorded in the catalytic concentration of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and lactate dehydrogenase. A decrease was recorded in the catalytic concentration of alkaline phosphatase. Fish with VHS in the chronic stage, compared with healthy fish, were in worse condition, with a significantly reduced Fulton coefficient and Clark coefficient, and a higher hepatosomatic index and visceral somatic index.


KEY WORDS: Rainbow trout · Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia · VHS · Haematological indices · Biochemical indices · Condition indices


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