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Journal: Journal of fish diseases


The freshwater bryozoan Fredericella sultana (Blumenbach) is the most common invertebrate host of the myxozoan parasite Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, the causative agent of proliferative kidney disease in salmonid fish. Culture media play an important role in hatching of statoblasts and maintaining clean bryozoan colonies for Malacosporea research. We developed a novel culture medium, Bryozoan Medium C (BMC), for the cultivation and maintenance of F. sultana under laboratory conditions. Statoblasts of F. sultana were successfully hatched to produce transparent-walled, specific pathogen-free (SPF) colonies that were maintained >12 months in BMC at pH 6.65. Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae was successfully transmitted from infected brown trout, Salmo trutta L., to newly hatched F. sultana colonies in BMC, then from the infected bryozoan to SPF brown trout. This study demonstrated the utility of BMC (pH 6.65) for hatching statoblasts, long-term cultivation of clean and transparent bryozoan colonies and maintenance of the Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae life cycle in the laboratory for molecular genetic research and other studies such as host-parasiteinteraction.

Concepts: Fish, Salmo, Rainbow trout, Brown trout, Brook trout, Myxozoa, Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, Myxobolus cerebralis


The impact of salmon lice on the survival of migrating Atlantic salmon smolts was studied by comparing the adult returns of sea-ranched smolts treated for sea lice using emamectin benzoate or substance EX with untreated control groups in the River Dale in western Norway. A total of 143 500 smolts were released in 35 release groups in freshwater from 1997 to 2009 and in the fjord system from 2007 to 2009. The adult recaptures declined gradually with release year and reached minimum levels in 2007. This development corresponded with poor marine growth and increased age at maturity of ranched salmon and in three monitored salmon populations and indicated unfavourable conditions in the Norwegian Sea. The recapture rate of treated smolts was significantly higher than the controls in three of the releases performed: the only release in 1997, one of three in 2002 and the only group released in sea water in 2007. The effect of treating the smolts against salmon lice was smaller than the variability in return rates between release groups, and much smaller that variability between release years, but its overall contribution was still significant (P < 0.05) and equivalent to an odds ratio of the probability of being recaptured of 1.17 in favour of the treated smolts. Control fish also tended to be smaller as grilse (P = 0.057), possibly due to a sublethal effect of salmon lice.

Concepts: Parasites, Salmon, Norway, Atlantic salmon, Salmo, Tasmania, Sea louse, Salmon louse


Salmon lice, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, are naturally occurring parasites of salmon in sea water. Intensive salmon farming provides better conditions for parasite growth and transmission compared with natural conditions, creating problems for both the salmon farming industry and, under certain conditions, wild salmonids. Salmon lice originating from farms negatively impact wild stocks of salmonids, although the extent of the impact is a matter of debate. Estimates from Ireland and Norway indicate an odds ratio of 1.1:1-1.2:1 for sea lice treated Atlantic salmon smolt to survive sea migration compared to untreated smolts. This is considered to have a moderate population regulatory effect. The development of resistance against drugs most commonly used to treat salmon lice is a serious concern for both wild and farmed fish. Several large initiatives have been taken to encourage the development of new strategies, such as vaccines and novel drugs, for the treatment or removal of salmon lice from farmed fish. The newly sequenced salmon louse genome will be an important tool in this work. The use of cleaner fish has emerged as a robust method for controlling salmon lice, and aquaculture production of wrasse is important towards this aim. Salmon lice have large economic consequences for the salmon industry, both as direct costs for the prevention and treatment, but also indirectly through negative public opinion.

Concepts: Parasites, Fish, Salmon, Aquaculture, Fish farming, Sea louse, Salmon louse, Aquaculture of salmon


Infectious salmon anaemia (ISA), caused by ISA virus (ISAV), is a serious disease of farmed Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L. Recently, molecular- and immunofluorescent-based techniques have become powerful diagnostic tools for ISAV detection, but culture-based techniques remain the gold standard. A disadvantage of ISAV culture is that the incubation time required before cytopathic effect (CPE) is observed in cell monolayers. To decrease time until CPE is observed, a low-speed centrifugation technique was applied to existing standard operating procedures for ISAV culture in three fish cell lines. Time until CPE observation was compared in CHSE, SHK and ASK cells, treated or not treated with low-speed centrifugation after inoculation with ISAV. Low-speed centrifugation treatment significantly enhanced observable cell infection. Compared to control cells, the length of time until ISAV CPE observation decreased in centrifuged ASK and CHSE cells. Low-speed centrifugation was also incorporated into a modified clinical shell vial assay. At 48 h post-inoculation with approximately 20 viral particles, ISAV was detected by an immunofluorescence antibody test in treated ASK and SHK1 cells but not in control cells. Finally, this enhanced viral adsorption assay performed in ASK cells demonstrated higher sensitivity than a real-time RT-PCR assay performed on RNA isolated from ISAV-spiked salmon kidney homogenates.

Concepts: DNA, Observation, Salmon, Virology, Aquaculture, Atlantic salmon, Salmo, Viral culture


White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) has caused significant losses in shrimp farms worldwide. Between 2004 and 2006, Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei (Boone) were collected from 220 farms in Taiwan to determine the prevalence and impact of WSSV infection on the shrimp farm industry. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis detected WSSV in shrimp from 26% of farms. Juvenile shrimp farms had the highest infection levels (38%; 19/50 farms) and brooder shrimp farms had the lowest (5%; one of 20 farms). The average extent of infection at each farm was as follows for WSSV-positive farms: post-larvae farms, 71%; juvenile farms, 61%; subadult farms, 62%; adult farms, 49%; and brooder farms, 40%. Characteristic white spots, hypertrophied nuclei and basophilic viral inclusion bodies were found in the epithelia of gills and tail fans, appendages, cephalothorax and hepatopancreas, and virions of WSSV were observed. Of shrimp that had WSSV lesions, 100% had lesions on the cephalothorax, 96% in gills and tail fans, 91% on appendages and 17% in the hepatopancreas. WSSV was also detected in copepoda and crustaceans from the shrimp farms. Sequence comparison using the pms146 gene fragment of WSSV showed that isolates from the farms had 99.7-100% nucleotide sequence identity with four strains in the GenBank database - China (AF332093), Taiwan (AF440570 and U50923) and Thailand (AF369029). This is the first broad study of WSSV infection in L. vannamei in Taiwan.

Concepts: DNA, Polymerase chain reaction, Whiteleg shrimp, Aquaculture, Shrimp farm, Penaeidae, Edible crustaceans, Dendrobranchiata


The protective efficacy of a DNA construct containing extra small virus antisense (XSVAS) gene of nodavirus encapsulated with chitosan nanoparticles (NPs) was investigated in giant freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii (De Man, 1879). The delivery was carried out using oral and immersion methods. A plasmid concentration of 100 ng μL(-1) when conjugated with chitosan NPs was found to be more effective in increasing the survivability of the infected prawn. The particle mean size, zeta potential and loading efficiency percentage were 297 nm, 27 mV and 85%, respectively. The ability of the chitosan to form a complex with the plasmid was studied by agarose gel electrophoresis. The NPs were characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Persistence study showed the presence of the DNA construct up to 30th day post-treatment. The oral treatment was found to be better than the immersion treatment for delivery of the chitosan-conjugated DNA construct. This is probably the first report on the delivery of nanoconjugated DNA construct in M. rosenbergii, against nodavirus.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, Polymerase chain reaction, Molecular biology, Gel electrophoresis, Electrophoresis, Agarose gel electrophoresis, Freshwater prawn farm


An attempt was made to determine the replication efficiency of hepatopancreatic parvo-like virus (HPV) of shrimp in different organs of freshwater rice-field crab Paratelphusa hydrodomous (Herbst) using bioassay, PCR, RT-PCR, ELISA, Western blot and q-PCR analyses. Another attempt was made to use this crab as an alternative to penaeid shrimp for the large-scale production of HPV. This crab was found to be highly susceptible to HPV by intramuscular injection. The systemic HPV infection was confirmed by PCR and Western blot analyses in freshwater crab. The expression of capsid protein gene in different organs of infected crab was revealed by RT-PCR analysis. Indirect ELISA was used to quantify the capsid protein in different organs of the crab. The copy number of HPV in different organs of the infected crab was quantified by q-PCR. The results revealed a steady decrease in CT values in different organs of the infected crab during the course of infection. The viral inoculum that was prepared from different organs of the infected crab caused significant mortality in post-larvae of tiger prawn, Penaeus monodon (Fabricius). The results revealed that this rice-field crab could be used as an alternative host for HPV replication and also for large-scale production of HPV.

Concepts: Gene, Molecular biology, Prawn, Shrimp farm, Penaeidae, Penaeus monodon, Penaeus, Dendrobranchiata


In 2003, the Alaska walleye pollock industry reported product quality issues attributed to an unspecified parasite in fish muscle. Using molecular and histological methods, we identified the parasite in Bering Sea pollock as Ichthyophonus. Infected pollock were identified throughout the study area, and prevalence was greater in adults than in juveniles. This study not only provides the first documented report of Ichthyophonus in any fish species captured in the Bering Sea, but also reveals that the parasite has been present in this region for nearly 20 years and is not a recent introduction. Sequence analysis of 18S rDNA from Ichthyophonus in pollock revealed that consensus sequences were identical to published parasite sequences from Pacific herring and Yukon River Chinook salmon. Results from this study suggest potential for Ichthyophonus exposures from infected pollock via two trophic pathways; feeding on whole fish as prey and scavenging on industry-discharged offal. Considering the notable Ichthyophonus levels in pollock, the low host specificity of the parasite and the role of this host as a central prey item in the Bering Sea, pollock likely serve as a key Ichthyophonus reservoir for other susceptible hosts in the North Pacific.

Concepts: Salmon, Alaska, Pacific Ocean, Kamchatka Peninsula, Gadidae, Commercial fish, Alaska pollock, Bering Sea


We investigated the efficacy of praziquantel (PZQ) and fenbendazole (FBZ), each administered by bath and orally, against the monogenean Lepidotrema bidyana Murray, a gill parasite of the freshwater fish silver perch, Bidyanus bidyanus (Mitchell). PZQ and FBZ were each administered by bath at 10 mg L(-1) for 48 h and on surface-coated feed pellets at 75 mg kg(-1) per body weight (BW) per day for 6 days. Bath treatments of PZQ and FBZ had an efficacy of 99% and 91%, respectively, against adult L. bidyana. Oral treatments of PZQ and FBZ had an efficacy of 79% and 95%, respectively, against adult L. bidyana. Fish rejected feed pellets surface-coated with PZQ, suggesting that palatability of surface-coated PZQ-medicated feed is poor, which undermined efficacy. In all trials, some juvenile parasites were present on fish after treatment during efficacy assessment, indicating that efficacy may be lower against juvenile parasites or that recruitment occurred post-treatment, demonstrating that repeat treatments are necessary to effectively control L. bidyana in aquaculture.

Concepts: Fish, Parasitism, Freshwater fish, Murray River, Anthelmintic, Freshwater fish of Australia, Terapontidae, Silver Perch


Salmon aquaculture in Scotland continues to increase; however, one of the potential limitations to its further sustainable growth is the ectoparasitic sea louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis. The industry in Scotland undertakes coordinated management procedures to control the levels of sea lice on farms in designated production areas. We developed a biophysical sea lice dispersal model for Loch Linnhe, one of the largest fjords on the west coast of Scotland, to provide further information to help establish more effective farm management areas. We successfully extend modelling principles previously applied to a small Scottish fjordic system. Modelling scenarios demonstrate heterogeneity in the distribution of sea lice within the system and simulations, suggesting that lice could be transmitted up to 30 km. The scenarios are assessed by comparing model predictions against lice sampled by both planktonic trawls and settlement on sentinel caged fish. The model predicts the ranked abundance of both planktonic and settled lice assuming that the lice input to the system is relative to host biomass. Data collection is ongoing for undertaking and assessing additional scenarios.

Concepts: Crustacean, Salmon, Aquaculture, Sea louse, Salmon louse, Aquaculture of salmon