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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 91:121-128 (2010)  -  DOI:

Experimentally induced marine flexibacteriosis in Atlantic salmon smolts Salmo salar. I. Pathogenicity

Rebecca van Gelderen1,*, Jeremy Carson2, Barbara Nowak1

1National Centre for Marine Conservation & Resource Sustainability, University of Tasmania, Locked Bag 1370, Launceston, Tasmania 7250, Australia
2Fish Health Laboratory, Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute, Department of Primary Industries and Water, PO Box 46, Kings Meadows, Tasmania 7249, Australia

ABSTRACT: Tenacibaculum maritimum causes marine flexibacteriosis in many cultured fish species, including Atlantic salmon Salmo salar in Tasmania, Australia. Several aspects of the pathogenicity of this bacterium were investigated in naive Atlantic salmon smolts using different isolates, growth conditions and doses to produce a model of infection. We found that T. maritimum is pathogenic to Atlantic salmon using either marine Shieh’s or marine Ordal’s culture medium. The use of aeration in broth culture produced a dose effect in challenge due to a ‘clumping’ of the bacteria during culture. The virulence of a strain appears to be connected with this ‘clumping’; the more adherent the cells, the more pathogenic the strain. Differences in virulence between 3 strains was apparent, with 1 of the strains (89/4747) being non-pathogenic and unable to produce disease in the host. The 2 other strains (89/4762, 00/3280) were highly virulent, resulting in 100% mortalities within 3 d. A reproducible model of infection has been established in the present study using strain 89/4762. Results from the present study provide a better insight into the nature of the disease.

KEY WORDS: Tenacibaculum maritimum · Pathogenicity · Atlantic salmon · Infection model

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Cite this article as: van Gelderen R, Carson J, Nowak B (2010) Experimentally induced marine flexibacteriosis in Atlantic salmon smolts Salmo salar. I. Pathogenicity. Dis Aquat Org 91:121-128.

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