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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 65:107-114 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/dao065107

Metabolic changes in Atlantic salmon exposed to Aeromonas salmonicida detected by 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of plasma

Kirty S. Solanky, Ian W. Burton, Shawna L. MacKinnon, John A. Walter*,Andrew Dacanay

National Research Council of Canada, Institute for Marine Biosciences, 1411 Oxford Street, Halifax,Nova Scotia B3H 3Z1, Canada
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: 1H-NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance)-based chemometric methods have been applied for the first time to investigate changes in the plasma metabolite profiles of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar as a result of exposure to Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida, a Gram-negative bacterium that is the etiological agent of furunculosis. Plasma samples were obtained from salmon that survived 21 d post exposure to A. salmonicida, and from a control group maintained under similar conditions. 1D 1H-NMR spectra were acquired and principal components analysis (PCA) was used to assess differences between the spectral profiles of plasma from salmon that survived an A. salmonicida challenge, and non-infected controls. PCA enables simultaneous comparison of spectra, presenting a simplified overview of the relationship between spectral data, where spectra cluster based on metabolite profile similarities and differences; information regarding the metabolite variations can therefore be readily deciphered. The major metabolite changes responsible for the spectral differences were related to modification in the lipoprotein profile and choline-based residues, with minor changes in carbohydrates, glycerol, trimethylamine-N-oxide and betaine. These changes indicated that exposure to A. salmonicida induced a characteristic biochemical response which could be used to determine the health status of salmon. This study suggests that with further development this metabolite profiling technique may be a useful tool for diagnosis of disease states in salmon and could provide a better understanding of the host-pathogen relationship which at present is poorly understood for A. salmonicida and Atlantic salmon.

KEY WORDS:Aeromonas salmonicida · Atlantic salmon · 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy · Principal components analysis · Salmo salar

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