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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

    DAO prepress abstract   -  DOI:

    Differential susceptibility of Yukon River and Salish Sea stocks of Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha to ichthyophoniasis

    Diane G. Elliott*, Carla M. Conway, Constance L. McKibben, Ashley H. MacKenzie, Lucas M. Hart, Maya L. Groner, Maureen K. Purcell, Jacob L. Gregg, Paul K. Hershberger

    *Corresponding author:

    ABSTRACT: Under controlled laboratory challenges, juvenile Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha from a Yukon River stock were more susceptible to ichthyophoniasis than were those from a Salish Sea stock. After feeding with tissues from infected Pacific herring, Chinook salmon from both stocks became infected. The infection was persistent and progressive in Yukon River stock fish, where infections sometimes progressed to mortality, and histological examinations revealed parasite dissemination and proliferation throughout the host tissues. However, infections were largely transient in Salish Sea-origin fish, where host mortalities were rare, and parasite stages were largely cleared from most tissues after 3-4 wk. Susceptibility differences were evidenced by greater cumulative mortality, infection prevalence, parasite density, proportion of fish demonstrating a cellular response, and intensity of the cellular response among fish from the Yukon River stock. These observed differences between Chinook salmon stocks were consistent when parasite exposures occurred in both fresh water and seawater. These results support the hypothesis that a longer-standing host–pathogen relationship, resulting in decreased disease susceptibility, exists among Salish Sea Chinook salmon than among Yukon River conspecifics.