DAO 67:55-60 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/dao067055

Influence of salmonid gill bacteria on development and severity of amoebic gill disease

Sridevi Embar-Gopinath1,2,*, Rick Butler1,3, Barbara Nowak1,2

1School of Aquaculture, University of Tasmania and 2Aquafin CRC Locked Bag 1370, Launceston, Tasmania 7250, Australia
3RSPCA Tasmania, Northern Branch, PO Box 66, Mowbray 7248, Australia

ABSTRACT: The relationship between salmonid gill bacteria and Neoparamoeba sp., the aetiological agent of amoebic gill disease (AGD) was determined in vivo. Fish were divided into 4 groups and were subjected to following experimental infections: Group 1, amoebae only; Group 2, Staphylococcus sp. and amoebae; Group 3, Winogradskyella sp. and amoebae; Group 4, no treatment (control). Fish (Groups 1, 2 and 3) were exposed to potassium permanganate to remove the natural gill microflora prior to either bacterial or amoebae exposure. AGD severity was quantified by histological analysis of gill sections to determine the percentage of lesioned filaments and the number of affected lamellae within each lesion. All amoebae infected groups developed AGD, with fish in Group 3 showing significantly more filaments with lesions than other groups. Typically lesion size averaged between 2 to 4 interlamellar units in all AGD infected groups. The results suggest that the ability of Neoparamoeba sp. to infect filaments and cause lesions might be enhanced in the presence of Winogradskyella sp. The possibility is proposed that the prevalence of more severe AGD is due to the occurrence of Winogradskyella sp. at high concentrations on the gills.


KEY WORDS:Neoparamoeba · Winogradskyella · AGD · Potassium permanganate · Protozoan diseases · Salmon diseases · Amoeba · Bacteria


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