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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 133:195-205 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03350

Isolation, identification, and histopathological analysis of Vibrio tubiashii from lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus

Peng Shao1,*, Pengzheng Yong1,*, Xiaoyu Wang2, Shangduan Xie1, Yunshuo Fan1, Li Zang3, Luwen Cui3, Jinhui Sun1,**

1Tianjin Key Lab of Aqua-Ecology and Aquaculture, College of Fisheries, Tianjin Agricultural University, Tianjin 300384, PR China
2Tianjin Bohai Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Tianjin 300457, PR China
3Tianjin Aquatic Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center, Tianjin 300221, PR China
*These authors contributed equally to this work
**Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus is an economically important aquaculture species; however, the low survival rate of juvenile seahorses severely restricts their large-scale cultivation. According to previous research, dead juvenile seahorses (4-6 cm) showed symptoms of suspected enteritis, including abdominal depression, raised cloaca, partial hepatic congestion, and yellow sticky liquid filling the intestine. Here, we isolated a Gram-negative bacterium from diseased juvenile seahorses and tentatively named the strain HEL-5. Healthy juvenile seahorses were then challenged with the strain through intraperitoneal injection, with results confirming that HEL-5 was pathogenic for seahorses at a median lethal dose of 5.81 × 105 CFU g-1 fish weight. Based on morphological observations, biochemical characteristics, and sequence analysis of 16S rRNA and housekeeping genes (gyrB, ftsZ, and gapA), we identified HEL-5 as Vibrio tubiashii. Histopathological observations revealed that V. tubiashii was capable of causing lytic necrosis of hepatocytes and forming obvious necrotic foci, and renal pathology was characterized by tubular collapse and tubular epithelial-cell shedding into the lumen accompanied by a large number of inflammatory cells infiltrating the tissues of the intestines and kidneys. Antimicrobial-susceptibility testing showed that the strain was highly sensitive to macrolides, chloramphenicol, sulfonamides, aminoglycosides, and cephalosporins. These findings represent the first report of isolation of V. tubiashii from diseased juvenile seahorses and provide a foundation for the prevention and treatment of vibrio disease in seahorse aquaculture.


KEY WORDS: Hippocampus erectus · Enteritis · Vibrio tubiashii · Pathogen identification · Histopathology · Antimicrobial susceptibility


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Cite this article as: Shao P, Yong P, Wang X, Xie S and others (2019) Isolation, identification, and histopathological analysis of Vibrio tubiashii from lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus. Dis Aquat Org 133:195-205. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03350

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