DAO 90:181-189 (2010)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02226

Low prevalence of splenic mycobacteriosis in migratory striped bass Morone saxatilis from North Carolina and Chesapeake Bay, USA

Mark A. Matsche1,*, Anthony Overton2, John Jacobs3, Matt R. Rhodes4, Kevin M. Rosemary1

1Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Cooperative Oxford Laboratory, Oxford, Maryland 21654, USA
2East Carolina University Harriot College of Arts and Science, Howell Science Complex, Greenville, North Carolina 27858, USA
3NOAA/NCCOS/Cooperative Oxford Laboratory, Oxford, Maryland 21654, USA
4JHT Inc., Cooperative Oxford Laboratory, Oxford, Maryland 21654, USA

ABSTRACT: Mycobacteriosis is a chronic bacterial disease causing an ongoing epizootic in striped bass Morone saxatilis in Chesapeake Bay, USA. Prevalence of disease is high in pre-migratory fish, and multiple species of Mycobacterium spp. have been isolated. However, prevalence of mycobacteriosis in the coastal migratory population is unknown and is of concern to multiple coastal states, as disease-related mortality may impact the long-term health of the population. Histological examinations of spleens collected from fish caught by recreational anglers during the winter fishery in coastal North Carolina (2005–2006, n = 249) and during the spring fishery in Chesapeake Bay (2006, n = 120) indicated a low prevalence of mycobacteriosis (6.8% of all fish examined) in comparison to smaller, pre-migratory Chesapeake Bay fish. Genus-level PCR and subsequent sequencing of the 16–23S intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS) region revealed that all bacteria were phylogenetically related, but species is unknown. Location of survey, gender of fish, and total length of fish had no significant effect on prevalence of mycobacteriosis, parasitic granulomas, or the density of splenic granulomas (p > 0.05). These results may indicate that either granulomas resolve after Chesapeake Bay fish enter the coastal migratory population, or that there is disease-related mortality among pre-migratory Chesapeake Bay fish.


KEY WORDS: Mycobacteriosis · Striped bass · North Carolina · Chesapeake Bay · Migratory


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Cite this article as: Matsche MA, Overton A, Jacobs J, Rhodes MR, Rosemary KM (2010) Low prevalence of splenic mycobacteriosis in migratory striped bass Morone saxatilis from North Carolina and Chesapeake Bay, USA. Dis Aquat Org 90:181-189. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02226

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