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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 123:67-79 (2017)  -  DOI:

Lactococcus garvieae: an emerging bacterial pathogen of fish

C. M. Meyburgh*, R. R. Bragg, C. E. Boucher

Department of Microbial, Biochemical & Food Biotechnology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Lactococcus garvieae is the causative agent of lactococcosis, a hyperacute, haemorrhagic septicaemia of fish. This bacterium is also considered an emerging zoonotic pathogen, as reports of human infection are increasing. Significant economic loss in aquaculture is suffered as a result of lactococcosis, as numerous freshwater and marine species of commercial interest are affected. Development of antibiotic resistance in L. garvieae to several chemotherapeutic agents complicates and restricts treatment options. Effective, sustainable treatment and prevention options are thus needed, but progress is impeded by the lack of knowledge concerning several aspects of the disease and the pathogen. This review aims to present the latest research on L. garvieae, with specific focus on pathogenesis, virulence factors, risks associated with chemotherapeutic administration and possible control options.

KEY WORDS: Lactococcus garvieae · Aquaculture · Vaccination · Antibiotic resistance · Virulence factors

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Cite this article as: Meyburgh CM, Bragg RR, Boucher CE (2017) Lactococcus garvieae: an emerging bacterial pathogen of fish. Dis Aquat Org 123:67-79.

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