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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 53:33-39 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/dao053033

Bacteriophage control of Pseudomonas plecoglossicida infection in ayu Plecoglossus altivelis

Se Chang Park, Toshihiro Nakai*

Fish Pathobiology Laboratory, Graduate School of Biosphere Science, Hiroshima University, Higashihiroshima 739-8528, Japan
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Two previously isolated phages were used to examine the therapeutic effects against Pseudomonas plecoglossicida infection in ayu Plecoglossus altivelis. Phage PPp-W4 (Podoviridae) inhibited the in vitro growth of P. plecoglossicida more effectively than Phage PPpW-3 (Myoviridae), and a mixture (PPpW-3/W-4) of the 2 phages exhibited the highest inhibitory activity. In phage therapy experiments, ayu were fed P. plecoglossicida-impregnated feed (107 CFU fish-1) and then fed phage-impregnated feed (107 PFU fish-1). Mortalities of fish receiving PPpW-3, PPpW-4, PPpW-3/W-4, and a control fish receiving no phages were 53.3, 40.0, 20.0 and 93.3%, respectively. Phage (PPpW-3/W-4)-receiving fish also showed high protection against water-borne infection with P. plecoglossicida. In a field trial, when phage (PPpW-3/W-4)-impregnated feed was administered to ayu in a pond where the disease occurred naturally, daily mortality of fish decreased at a constant level (5% d-1) to one-third after a 2 wk period. The causal relationship of phages in this phenomenon was verified by the long-lasting appearance of administered phages in the kidneys of the fish, and a disappearance of P. plecoglossicida from apparently healthy fish. Neither phage-resistant organisms nor phage-neutralizing antibodies were detected in diseased fish or apparently healthy fish, respectively. These results indicate the potential for phage control of the disease.

KEY WORDS: Bacteriophage · Phage therapy · Fish disease · Biological control · Pseudomonas plecoglossicida · Plecoglossus altivelis

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