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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 111:229-238 (2014)  -  DOI:

New disease records for hatchery-reared sturgeon. II. Phaeohyphomycosis due to Veronaea botryosa

Natalie K. Steckler1, Roy P. E. Yanong2, Deborah B. Pouder2, Akinyi Nyaoke3, Deanna A. Sutton4, Jonathan R. Lindner5, Brian L. Wickes6, Salvatore Frasca Jr. 7, Jeffrey C. Wolf8, Thomas B. Waltzek1,* 

1Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
2Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory, FAS/SFRC, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 1408 24th St. SE, Ruskin, FL 33570, USA
3California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory-San Bernardino, University of California at Davis, 105 W. Central Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92408, USA
4Fungus Testing Laboratory and 5Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, Department of Pathology, and 6Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA
7Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Connecticut, 61 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
8Experimental Pathology Laboratories, Inc., 45600 Terminal Drive, Sterling, VA 20166, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: A series of fungal cases in hatchery-reared juvenile and young adult Siberian sturgeon Acipenser baerii and white sturgeon A. transmontanus occurred at production facilities in Florida and California, USA, respectively. Affected fish exhibited abnormal orientation and/or buoyancy, emaciation, coelomic distension, exophthalmos, cutaneous erythema, and ulcerative skin and eye lesions. Necropsies revealed haemorrhage throughout the coelom, serosanguinous coelomic effusion and organomegaly with nodular or cystic lesions in multiple organs. Fungal hyphae were observed in 27 fish (24 A. baerii and 3 A. transmontanus) via microscopic examination of tissue wet mounts and on slides prepared from colonies grown on culture media. Histopathological examination of these infected tissues revealed extensive infiltration by melanised fungal hyphae that were recovered in culture. Phenotypic characteristics and sequencing of the fungal isolates with the use of the internal transcribed spacer region and 28S rRNA gene confirmed the aetiological agent as Veronaea botryosa. To our knowledge, this is the first documentation of V. botryosa infection in fish, although melanised fungi of the closely related genus Exophiala are well-known pathogens of freshwater and marine fishes.

KEY WORDS: Acipenser baerii · Acipenser transmontanus · Fungus · Aquaculture

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Cite this article as: Steckler NK, Yanong RPE, Pouder DB, Nyaoke A and others (2014) New disease records for hatchery-reared sturgeon. II. Phaeohyphomycosis due to Veronaea botryosa. Dis Aquat Org 111:229-238.

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