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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 133:119-125 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03337

Atlantic salmon challenged with extracellular products from Moritella viscosa

Brett MacKinnon1, David Groman1, Mark D. Fast1, Anthony J. Manning2, Patti Jones3, Sophie St-Hilaire1,4,*

1Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PE C1A 4P3, Canada
2The New Brunswick Research and Productivity Council (RPC), Food Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Fredericton, NB E3B 6Z9, Canada
3Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd., Blacks Harbour, NB E5H 1K1, Canada
4Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health, Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Skin ulcers in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar in the Canadian east coast salmon aquaculture industry lead to high mortality rates. This condition is clinically similar to winter ulcer disease in Norway with the exception that it occurs at temperatures above 10°C. Moritella viscosa is thought to be the causative agent for winter ulcer disease in Norway, and it is occasionally also isolated from skin ulcer cases in Atlantic Canada. This bacterium is known to produce cytotoxins. The objective of this study was to determine if extracellular products (ECP) from an Atlantic Canadian strain of M. viscosa could induce a tissue response similar to what is observed with M. viscosa infections in Atlantic salmon in eastern Canada. We injected fish subcutaneously with ECP and monitored the development of skin lesions. We sampled fish with early skin lesions and ulcers to describe the pathology associated with the condition. Samples were taken for histopathology, bacterial culture, and quantitative PCR (qPCR). All experimental fish expressed early skin lesions, with 5 fish (8.3%) developing deep skin ulcers after 12 d post-exposure. Our results suggest the ECP of M. viscosa from the east coast of Canada induces a similar tissue response to what is described in ulcer disease in Atlantic salmon. These extracelluar products may partially explain the pathology associated with M. viscosa.


KEY WORDS: Skin lesion · Salmo salar · Moritella viscosa · Extracellular bacterial products · ECP · Aquaculture · Canada


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Cite this article as: MacKinnon B, Groman D, Fast MD, Manning AJ, Jones P, St-Hilaire S (2019) Atlantic salmon challenged with extracellular products from Moritella viscosa. Dis Aquat Org 133:119-125. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03337

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