DAO 97:57-63 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02404

Wild Arctic char Salvelinus alpinus and trout Salmo trutta: hosts and reservoir of the salmonid pathogen Spironucleus salmonicida (Diplomonadida; Hexamitidae)

Anders Jørgensen1,*, Kari Torp2, Marie A. Bjørland2, Trygve T. Poppe2

1Norwegian Veterinary Institute, PO Box 750 Sentrum, 0106 Oslo, Norway
2Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, PO Box 8146 Dep, 0033 Oslo, Norway

ABSTRACT: Spironucleus salmonicida is a diplomonad flagellate known to cause systemic infections in farmed salmonids. In northern Norway, outbreaks of spironucleosis in farmed Atlantic salmon Salmo salar have been a recurring problem. Common to all these outbreaks was the origin of smolts: all came from the same farm. In the present study, wild Arctic char Salvelinus alpinus and brown trout Salmo trutta were sampled from the lakes used as a water source for the smolt supplier. In addition, smolt and three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus were sampled from the smolt farm. Bile and intestinal contents from the sampled fish were examined by light microscopy and PCR. Spironucleus salmonicida was identified in both wild Arctic char and brown trout from the lakes used as water sources by the smolt farm, suggesting that the farmed fish were exposed to this pathogen before transfer to the sea. Spironucleus barkhanus and Spironucleus salmonis were also identified in the sampled fish. The present study also demonstrated that infections with multiple Spironucleus species are present in wild salmonids. No indications of disease related to diplomonad infections were observed in the wild fish, suggesting that wild salmonids are reservoir hosts of Spironucleus salmonicida.


KEY WORDS: Co-infection · Farmed Atlantic salmon · Fish disease · Hatchery · Protozoa · Spironucleosis · SSU rDNA


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Cite this article as: Jørgensen A, Torp K, Bjørland MA, Poppe TT (2011) Wild Arctic char Salvelinus alpinus and trout Salmo trutta: hosts and reservoir of the salmonid pathogen Spironucleus salmonicida (Diplomonadida; Hexamitidae). Dis Aquat Org 97:57-63. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02404

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