Title Gamete-associated flavobacteria of the oviparous Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in lakes Michigan and Huron, North America
Author Thomas P. Loch1* and Mohamed Faisal1,2
Address 1Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48824, USA, 2Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48824, USA
Bibliography Journal of Microbiology, 54(7),477-486, 2016,
DOI 10.1007/s12275-016-5629-3
Key Words Flavobacterium, Chryseobacterium, fish disease, coldwater disease, eggs, Great Lakes
Abstract Flavobacterial diseases, caused by multiple members of the Family Flavobacteriaceae, elicit serious losses in wild and farmed fish around the world. Flavobacteria are known to be transmitted horizontally; however, vertical transmission has been suspected but proven only for one fish-pathogenic flavobacterial species (e.g., Flavobacterium psychrophilum). Herein, we report on the isolation and molecular identification of multiple Flavobacterium and Chryseobacterium taxa from the ovarian fluid and eggs of feral Great Lakes Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Identified egg- and ovarian fluid-associated flavobacteria were either well-known flavobacterial fish pathogens (e.g., F. psychrophilum and F. columnare), most similar to emerging fish-associated flavobacteria (e.g., F. spartansii, F. tructae, F. piscis, C. piscium, C. scophthalmum), or were distinct from all other described Chryseobacterium and Flavobacterium spp., as determined by phylogenetic analyses using neighbor-joining, Bayesian, and Maximum Likelihood methodologies. The gamete-associated flavobacteria fell into three groups (e.g., those that were recovered from the ovarian fluid but not eggs; those that were recovered from the ovarian fluid and eggs; and those that were recovered from eggs but not ovarian fluid), a portion of which were recovered from eggs that were surface disinfected with iodophor at the commonly used dose and duration for egg disinfection. Some gamete-associated flavobacteria were also found in renal, splenic, and neurological tissues. Systemic polymicrobial infections comprised of F. psychrophilum and F. columnare were also detected at nearly an 11% prevalence. This study highlights the potential role that sexual products of female Great Lakes Chinook salmon may play in the transmission of fish-associated flavobacteria.