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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 140:179-186 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03494

Preliminary investigation of an idiopathic muscle disease in farmed burbot Lota lota

Constanze Pietsch1,2,*, Fridolin Tschudi1, Stefan Baumann3, Heike Schmidt-Posthaus4

1Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR), Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), Grüental, PO Box, 8820 Wädenswil, Switzerland
2Institute for Agronomy, Hochschule für Agrar-, Forst- und Lebensmittelwissenschaften (HAFL), Applied University Bern (BFH), 3052 Zollikofen, Switzerland
3Basis57 Nachhaltige Wassernutzungs AG, Frauenmattweg 30, 6472 Erstfeld, Switzerland
4Centre for Fish and Wildlife Health (CFWH), Vetsuisse Faculty, University Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The rearing of less established fish species in recirculating aquaculture systems (RASs) is increasing, but may require adaptations of the rearing facilities if health impairments occur. We observed several health issues in burbot Lota lota reared for up to 2 yr in a RAS and used microbiological, histological and molecular-biological methods to identify the causative agents. Minor skin trauma led to the development of ulcers. In addition, several fillets of burbot showed pronounced granulomatous inflammation and calcification with signs of muscle fiber degeneration which resembled a condition called ‘sandy flesh disease’ in North American walleye. Several infectious agents were able to be excluded as a cause for the disease. Carnobacterium maltaromaticum was isolated in high numbers in some of the affected muscle tissue. However, the role of this bacterium or other causative agents or husbandry conditions remains to be elucidated.


KEY WORDS: Aquaculture · Rearing conditions · Skin alterations · Sandy flesh disease


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Cite this article as: Pietsch C, Tschudi F, Baumann S, Schmidt-Posthaus H (2020) Preliminary investigation of an idiopathic muscle disease in farmed burbot Lota lota. Dis Aquat Org 140:179-186. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03494

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