Publications by authors named "Dieter Steinhagen"

60 Publications

Impact of a reduced water salinity on the composition of Vibrio spp. in recirculating aquaculture systems for Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) and its possible risks for shrimp health and food safety.

J Fish Dis 2021 Jan 24;44(1):89-105. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Fish Disease Research Unit, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Hannover, Germany.

Tropical shrimp, like Litopenaeus vannamei, in land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) are often kept at low water salinities to reduce costs for artificial sea salt and the amount of salty wastewater. Although these shrimp are tolerant against low salinities, innate immunity suppression and changes in the microbial composition in the water can occur. As especially Vibrio spp. are relevant for shrimp health, alterations in the species composition of the Vibrio community were analysed in water from six RAS, run at 15‰ or 30‰. Additionally, pathogenicity factors including pirA/B, VPI, toxR, toxS, vhh, vfh, tdh, trh, flagellin genes and T6SS1/2 of V. parahaemolyticus were analysed. The Vibrio composition differed significantly depending on water salinity. In RAS at 15‰, higher numbers of the potentially pathogenic species V. parahaemolyticus, V. owensii and V. campbellii were detected, and especially in V. parahaemolyticus, various pathogenicity factors were present. A reduced salinity may therefore pose a higher risk of disease outbreaks in shrimp RAS. Because some of the detected pathogenicity factors are relevant for human health, this might also affect food safety. In order to produce healthy shrimp as a safe food for human consumption, maintaining high water salinities seems to be recommendable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfd.13270DOI Listing
January 2021

Water disinfection by ozonation has advantages over UV irradiation in a brackish water recirculation aquaculture system for Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei).

J Fish Dis 2020 Oct 23;43(10):1259-1285. Epub 2020 Aug 23.

Fish Disease Research Unit, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany.

By keeping tropical shrimp, like Litopenaeus vannamei, in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), valuable food for human consumption can be produced sustainable. L. vannamei tolerates low salinities, and therefore, the systems can operate under brackish water conditions. The stabilization of the microbial community in RAS might be difficult under high organic loads, and therefore, water treatment measures like UV irradiation or ozone application are commonly used for bacterial reduction. To investigate the impact of these measures, the effects of UV irradiation and ozone application were studied in small-scale brackish water RAS with a salinity of 15‰ stocked with L. vannamei. UV reactors with 7 and 9 W were used, and by ozonizers with a power of 5-50 mg/hr, the redox potential in the water was adjusted to 350 mV. Ozone had a stabilizing effect on the microbial composition in the water and on biofilms of tank surfaces and shrimp carapaces, prevented an increase of nitrite and accelerated the degradation of nitrate in the water. UV irradiation led to changes in the microbial composition and was less effective in optimizing the chemical water quality. Thus, the use of ozone could be recommended for water treatment in brackish water RAS for shrimp.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfd.13238DOI Listing
October 2020

Health Surveillance of Wild Brown Trout () in the Czech Republic Revealed a Coexistence of Proliferative Kidney Disease and Infection.

Pathogens 2020 Jul 24;9(8). Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Department of Ecology and Diseases of Zooanimals, Game, Fish and Bees, Veterinary and Pharmaceutical University, 612 42 Brno, Czech Republic.

The population of brown trout () in continental Europe is on the decline, with infectious diseases confirmed as one of the causative factors. However, no data on the epizootiological situation of wild fish in the Czech Republic are currently available. In this study, brown trout (n = 260) from eight rivers were examined for the presence of viral and parasitical pathogens. , infectious pancreatic necrosis virus, (VHSV) and (IHNV) were not detected using PCR. Cell culturing showed no viruses as well, and serological analysis of 110 sera did not detect any specific antibodies against VHSV or IHNV. Fish from two rivers were positive for the presence of (PRV-3), subtype PRV-3b. However, none of the PRV-3-positive fish showed gross pathologies typically associated with PRV infections. By far the most widespread pathogen was which was confirmed in each of the examined locations, with a prevalence of up to 65% and 100%, as established by immunohistochemistry and PCR, respectively. Furthermore, up to 43.8% of fish showed signs of proliferative kidney disease caused by , suggesting that this parasite is a main health challenge for brown trout in the Czech Republic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9080604DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7460431PMC
July 2020

Effect of disinfection with peracetic acid on the microbial community of a seawater aquaculture recirculation system for Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei).

J Fish Dis 2020 Sep 2;43(9):991-1017. Epub 2020 Jul 2.

Fish Disease Research Unit, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany.

When tropical shrimps are kept in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), one of the limiting factors is the maintenance of a sufficient water quality, and therefore, often disinfectants like peracetic acid (PAA) are added to the water either as prophylactic or treatment measure. In this study, PAA in concentrations of 0.1 mg/L, 1 mg/L and 10 mg/L was applied continuously for 56 days to small-scale seawater RAS stocked with Litopenaeus vannamei. Treatment with 0.1 mg/L did not result in a reduction in the total bacterial amount and therefore was not effective. A concentration of 10 mg/L led to significant changes in the chemical water parameters already after 2 days and was therefore not recommendable. A concentration of 1 mg/L led to increased levels of ammonia and nitrite within 2 days and to a significant increase in the bacterial amount in the water, most probably due to an enhanced growth of heterotrophic bacteria. The microflora showed significant fluctuations, and there were indications that the welfare of the shrimps was affected. Using 1 mg PAA/L for prophylactic use is therefore also not recommendable but might be an alternative option for short-term treatment in cases of disease outbreaks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfd.13207DOI Listing
September 2020

Is humane slaughtering of rainbow trout achieved in conventional production chains in Germany? Results of a pilot field and laboratory study.

BMC Vet Res 2020 Jun 15;16(1):197. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Fish Disease Research Unit, Institute for Parasitology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Bünteweg 17, D-30559, Hannover, Germany.

Background: Rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, is an important fish in European freshwater aquaculture. This industry sector is dominated by small family-owned enterprises located in rural areas. A large percentage of rainbow trout produced by these small enterprises is marketed directly and killed on demand and not processed in commercial processing plants. EU and national regulations stipulate that fish shall be stunned prior to killing and slaughter. The overall objective of this study was to monitor how stunning interventions were integrated into the production chains of German conventional trout aquaculture in order to safeguard animal welfare during stunning and killing. For this, the stunning and slaughtering processes were monitored on 18 rainbow trout farms in various German federal states. During the on-farm research, (i) the stunning success, (ii) injuries related to the stunning procedure, (iii) duration between stunning and killing, and (iv) visible responses at the time of slaughtering were assessed as welfare indicators. In addition, haematological and biochemical blood parameters were measured as indicators for physiological stress. Due to the fact that stunning interventions should induce a loss of consciousness in fish, in a laboratory study, it was examined whether the absence of the brainstem/ behavioural responses, opercular movements (OM) or eye-rolling reflex (vestibulo-ocular reflex, VOR) was correlated with the stage of insensibility.

Results: The majority of rainbow trout farms applied manual percussion (38%) or electrical stunning (48%), while on 14% of the farms, the fish were stunned by electrical stunning which was immediately followed by manual percussion. After percussive stunning, about 92.3% of the rainbow trout displayed no OM or VOR as brainstem/ behavioural indicators of consciousness. This percentage varied on farms which applied electrical stunning. While on the majority of farms, 95 to 100% of the fish were unconscious according to the observation of brainstem/ behavioural indicators, the stunning intervention was less effective on farms where rainbow trout were stunned at current densities below 0.1 A dm or for a few seconds only. The laboratory study confirmed that the absence of brainstem/ behavioural indicators correlated with the absence of visually evoked responses (VER) of the brain to light stimuli as a neuronal indicator of insensibility. Therefore, the brainstem/ behavioural signs can be used to interpret the stage of insensibility in rainbow trout. A stage of insensibility could safely be induced by exposing portion-sized rainbow trout to an electric current density above 0.1 A dm. This was not influenced by the orientation of the electric field.

Conclusions: In conventional aquaculture, rainbow trout can effectively be stunned by manual percussion or electrical stunning. Consciousness can be monitored by the absence of opercular movements or the eye-rolling reflex, which are lost approximately at the same time as neurological responses like VER. For safeguarding animal welfare during stunning and killing of rainbow trout in conventional production processes, the stunning process requires careful attention and the operating personnel need to be trained in using the stunning devices and recognising indicators of consciousness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-020-02412-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7296641PMC
June 2020

Koi herpesvirus and carp edema virus threaten common carp aquaculture in Croatia.

J Fish Dis 2020 Jun 21;43(6):673-685. Epub 2020 Apr 21.

Fish Disease Research Unit, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover Foundation, Hannover, Germany.

Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is a very important fish species for warm-water aquaculture in Croatia. All Croatian carp farms are subjected to a surveillance programme for the presence of koi herpesvirus (KHV), causing a deadly disease called koi herpesvirus disease (KHVD). However, there is no surveillance for other viral pathogens of importance like carp edema virus (CEV), a causative agent of koi sleepy disease (KSD). During regular testing within the KHVD surveillance programme, we tested samples for CEV simultaneously. The screening indicated possible outbreaks of KHVD and KSD. During 2016, KHVD broke out in an isolated area and soon thereafter a KHV eradication programme was successfully performed. However, during 2018 and 2019, two additional mortality events occurred in lakes in the southern part of Croatia during the spring. Samples from both events tested positive for CEV. An epidemiological investigation confirmed the introduction of infected carps from an infected farm to one of the lakes. To prevent the spreading of CEV into open waters, it is of utmost importance to introduce CEV testing before fish movement or to perform regular testing of all carp farms in the country to determine CEV prevalence for the purpose of implementation of control measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfd.13163DOI Listing
June 2020

Antiviral response of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) during tilapia lake virus (TiLV) infection.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2020 Jun 20;101:1-8. Epub 2020 Mar 20.

Fish Disease Research Unit, Institute for Parasitology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Buenteweg 17, 30559, Hannover, Germany. Electronic address:

Tilapia lake virus (TiLV) is a novel enveloped orthomyxo-like virus with a genome of 10 segments of linear negative-sense single-stranded RNA. It causes massive mortality of wild and farmed tilapia species and because of its spread in Asia, Africa, South and North America, it is considered a threat to tilapia aquaculture. Here, we have evaluated the possible use of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to study immune response and host-pathogen interactions during an infection with TiLV. Adult zebrafish were infected with TiLV by intraperitoneal (i.p) injection or by cohabitation. Increased viral load was observed in liver, spleen and kidney of i.p. injected fish at 1, 3, 6, and 14 days post infection (dpi) but not in fish from the cohabitation group (only liver was tested). We also demonstrated that in spleen and kidney i.p. injection of TiLV induced up-regulation of the expression of the immune-related genes encoding pathogen recognition receptors involved in sensing of viral dsRNA (rig-I, tlr3, tlr22), transcription factors (irf3, irf7), type I interferon (infϕ1), antiviral protein (mxa), pro-inflammatory (il-1β, tnf-α, il-8, ifnγ1-2) and anti-inflammatory (il-10) cytokines, CD4 markers (cd4-1, cd4-2), and IgM (igm). Moreover, tissue tropism of TiLV and histopathological changes were analyzed in selected organs of i.p. injected zebrafish. Our results indicate that zebrafish is a good model to study mechanisms of the TiLV infection and to follow antiviral responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2020.03.040DOI Listing
June 2020

Effect of β-1/3,1/6-glucan upon immune responses and bacteria in the gut of healthy common carp (Cyprinus carpio).

J Fish Biol 2020 Feb 30;96(2):444-455. Epub 2019 Dec 30.

School of Life Sciences, Huxley Building, Keele University, Newcastle, UK.

β-glucans are frequently included in the diet of healthy common carp Cyprinus carpio as a pre-emptive measure for combatting disease. In order to study the effect this has on the relationship between the gut bacteria and host immune response, carp were maintained on either a β-glucan free diet or feed containing 0.1% MacroGard®, a β-1/3, 1/6-glucan, for up to 7 weeks and analysis of innate immune gene expression and molecular analysis of the gut bacteria was performed. The data reveals feeding of MacroGard® to healthy carp does not induce bactericidal innate immune gene expression in the gut but does appear to alter bacterial species richness that did not have a negative effect on overall health. Analysis of innate immune gene expression within the upper midgut revealed that there were significant changes over time in the expression of Interleukin (il)-1β, inducible nitric oxide synthase (inos), mucin (muc2) and C-reactive protein (crp2). Diet did not affect the number of copies of the bacterial 16s rDNA gene in the gut, used as a as a measure of total bacteria population size. However, PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis revealed a shift in bacterial species richness with MacroGard feeding. Bactericidal immune gene expression of crp2, muc2 and il-1β was weakly correlated with gut bacteria population size indicating a potentially limited role of these genes in interacting with the gut bacteria in healthy carp in order to maintain gut homeostatic conditions. These findings highlight the importance of considering both host immunity and the microbiome together in order to fully elucidate the effeect of immunomodulants, such as β-glucans, upon gut health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfb.14222DOI Listing
February 2020

Kudoa sp. (Myxozoa, Multivalvulida): first report in five commercial fish species from the Canary Islands-FAO 34 (Macaronesia-Spain).

Parasitol Res 2019 Sep 2;118(9):2567-2574. Epub 2019 Aug 2.

Department of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), Las Palmas, Spain.

Kudoid myxozoans have been reported causing serious chronic problems in marine fisheries, by reducing the market value of infected fish through pathological damage to the host musculature. We report here the overall prevalence of a Kudoa species in 84/277 (30.3%) fishes from 20 different species of high commercial value captured between October 2011 and December 2013 from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 34 commercial fishing area, near the coast of the Canary Islands (Spain). Macroscopic examination showed myxozoan-like cysts in skeletal muscle from 5 of the 20 fish species examined, with the following prevalences: Pagellus acarne (86.7%), Pagellus erythrinus (46.5%), Serranus cabrilla (27.8%), Spondyliosoma cantharus (19.4%), and Sarpa salpa (28.6%). Infection intensity was determined based on spore counts following muscle tissue digestion. Morphometric studies to characterize the species and DNA sequence analysis results suggest that these infections are attributable to a Kudoa species closely related to Kudoa trachuri. This paper reports the first study on a multivalvulidan species to be identified from the Canary Islands. Furthermore, this is the first report of Kudoa parasites in all of the hosts mentioned above, with the exception of P. acarne.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-019-06415-6DOI Listing
September 2019

Quantitative diagnostics of gill diseases in common carp: not as simple as it seems.

Dis Aquat Organ 2019 May;134(3):197-207

Fish Disease Research Unit, Centre of Infectious Diseases, University of Veterinary Medicine, 30559 Hannover, Germany.

During a disease outbreak, affected fish exhibit particular clinical signs, and the task in veterinary diagnostics is to identify the causative agent(s) as a prerequisite for appropriate treatment measures. In this study, we present an outbreak of a multifactorial gill disease in a cohort of ornamental koi Cyprinus carpio with gill necrosis as the main exterior clinical sign. By means of pathogen identification and determining pathogen abundance in various tissues, mortality of individual fish was found to be caused by different agents. Three out of 5 diseased individuals suffered from koi herpesvirus disease (KHVD) associated with a systemic infection with cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3), 1 fish succumbed to koi sleepy disease (KSD) caused by a high carp edema virus (CEV) load in the gills co-infected with CyHV-3 and flavobacteria, and the last fish had low loads of both viruses but high flavobacteria and Ichthyobodo burdens and most likely died from an interaction of these bacterial and parasitic agents. The results indicated that correct identification of the agent responsible for the observed clinical signs or mortality during co-infection might require quantitative determination of the abundance of the pathogens as well as detailed knowledge of the infection biology of these pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/dao03374DOI Listing
May 2019

Hormonal stimulation of carp is accompanied by changes in seminal plasma proteins associated with the immune and stress responses.

J Proteomics 2019 06 25;202:103369. Epub 2019 Apr 25.

Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Tuwima 10, 10-748 Olsztyn, Poland.

Hormonal stimulation in common carp is a routine practice to enhance sperm production and control gamete maturation. This study aimed to compare the proteome of carp seminal plasma between control and Ovopel-induced males using two-dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis. Ovopel induction increased sperm volume, total sperm count, seminal plasma osmolality, and pH and decreased seminal plasma protein concentration. In total, 36 spots were identified (23 up- and 13 downregulated), corresponding to 23 proteins differentially abundant in seminal plasma after Ovopel induction (p < .05; fold change 1.2). The majority of proteins were associated with the immune and stress responses including the transport protein (hephaestin), antiproteases (fetuin, α2-macroglobulin, TIMP2), complement components (C3, complement factor B/C2A), regulator of the coagulation cascade (plasminogen), modulators of the innate immune response, such as intelectin, ApoA and ApoE, and the cathepsin/cystatin system, and stress response (enolase1). In addition, hormonal stimulation seems to be related to the proteins involved in lipid metabolism, signal transduction, and tissue remodeling. Our results suggest that hormonal stimulation is not just concomitant with the hydration of testis but also induces the synthesis and secretion of seminal plasma proteins involved in sperm maturation and protection against stress induced by administration of the exogenous hormone. SIGNIFICANCE: It is well known that hormonal stimulation of male fish induces the final maturation of spermatozoa. However, molecular and biochemical basis underlying hormone-induced changes in semen is unknown at present. This study for the first time reveals, using proteomic approach, that hormonal stimulation in addition to hydration of testis is accompanied by significant changes in seminal plasma proteins related mainly to immune and stress response, lipid metabolism, signal transduction and tissue remodeling. These changes are associated with gene expression and synthesis and secretion of seminal plasma proteins by reproductive tissues. Overall, our results provide a framework for understanding the molecular mechanism responsible for hormonal stimulation in the reproductive tract of fish males.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jprot.2019.04.019DOI Listing
June 2019

Evaluation of zebrafish (Danio rerio) as an animal model for the viral infections of fish.

J Fish Dis 2019 Jun 28;42(6):923-934. Epub 2019 Mar 28.

Department of Evolutionary Immunology, Institute of Zoology and Biomedical Research, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland.

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a laboratory model organism used in different areas of biological research including studies of immune response and host-pathogen interactions. Thanks to many biological tools available, zebrafish becomes also an important model in aquaculture research since several fish viral infection models have been developed for zebrafish. Here, we have evaluated the possible use of zebrafish to study infections with fish viruses that have not yet been tested on this model organism. In vitro studies demonstrated that chum salmon reovirus (CSV; aquareovirus A) and two alloherpesviruses cyprinid herpesvirus 1 (CyHV-1) and cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3) are able to replicate in zebrafish cell lines ZF4 and SJD.1. Moreover, CSV induced a clear cytopathic effect and up-regulated the expression of antiviral genes vig-1 and mxa in both cell lines. In vivo studies demonstrated that both CSV and CyHV-3 induce up-regulation of vig-1 and mxa expression in kidney and spleen of adult zebrafish after infection by i.p. injection but not in larvae after infection by immersion. CyHV-3 is eliminated quickly from fish; therefore, virus clearing process could be evaluated, and in CSV-infected fish, a prolonged confrontation of the host with the pathogen could be studied.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfd.12994DOI Listing
June 2019

Type I interferon responses of common carp strains with different levels of resistance to koi herpesvirus disease during infection with CyHV-3 or SVCV.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2019 Apr 15;87:809-819. Epub 2019 Feb 15.

Fish Disease Research Unit, Institute for Parasitology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany.

Carp from breeding strains with different genetic background present diverse levels of resistance to viral pathogens. Carp strains of Asian origin, currently being treated as Cyprinus rubrofuscus L., especially Amur wild carp (AS), were proven to be more resistant to koi herpesvirus disease (KHVD; caused by cyprinid herpesvirus 3, CyHV-3) than strains originating from Europe and belonging to Cyprinus carpio L., like the Prerov scale carp (PS) or koi carp from a breed in the Czech Republic. We hypothesised that it can be associated with a higher magnitude of type I interferon (IFN) response as a first line of innate defence mechanisms against viral infections. To evaluate this hypothesis, four strains of common carp (AS, Rop, PS and koi) were challenged using two viral infection models: Rhabdovirus SVCV (spring viremia of carp virus) and alloherpesvirus CyHV-3. The infection with SVCV induced a low mortality rates and the most resistant was the Rop strain (no mortalities), whereas the PS strain was the most susceptible (survival rate of 78%). During CyHV-3 infection, Rop and AS strains performed better (survival rates of 78% and 53%, respectively) than PS and koi strains (survival rates of 35% and 10%, respectively). The evaluation of virus loads and virus replication showed significant differences between the carp strains, which correlated with the mortality rate. The evaluation of type I IFN responses showed that there were fundamental differences between the virus infection models. While responses to the SVCV were high, the CyHV-3 generally induced low responses. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that the magnitude of type I IFN responses did not correlate with a higher resistance in infected carp. In the case of a CyHV-3 infection, reduced type I IFN responses could be related to the potential ability of the virus to interfere with cellular sensing of foreign nucleic acids. Taken together, the results broaden our understanding of how common carp from different genetic strains interact with various viral pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2019.02.022DOI Listing
April 2019

Piscine Orthoreovirus 3 Is Not the Causative Pathogen of Proliferative Darkening Syndrome (PDS) of Brown Trout ().

Viruses 2019 01 28;11(2). Epub 2019 Jan 28.

Institute for Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Department for Veterinary Sciences, LMU Munich, 80539 Munich, Germany.

The proliferative darkening syndrome (PDS) is a lethal disease of brown trout () which occurs in several alpine Bavarian limestone rivers. Because mortality can reach 100%, PDS is a serious threat for affected fish populations. Recently, Kuehn and colleagues reported that a high throughput RNA sequencing approach identified a piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) as a causative agent of PDS. We investigated samples from PDS-affected fish obtained from two exposure experiments performed at the river Iller in 2008 and 2009. Using a RT-qPCR and a well-established next-generation RNA sequencing pipeline for pathogen detection, PRV-specific RNA was not detectable in PDS fish from 2009. In contrast, PRV RNA was readily detectable in several organs from diseased fish in 2008. However, similar virus loads were detectable in the control fish which were not exposed to Iller water and did not show any signs of the disease. Therefore, we conclude that PRV is not the causative agent of PDS of brown trout in the rhithral region of alpine Bavarian limestone rivers. The abovementioned study by Kuehn used only samples from the exposure experiment from 2008 and detected a subclinical PRV bystander infection. Work is ongoing to identify the causative agent of PDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v11020112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6410266PMC
January 2019

Diagnostic methods for identifying different Aeromonas species and examining their pathogenicity factors, their correlation to cytotoxicity and adherence to fish mucus.

J Fish Dis 2019 Feb 6;42(2):189-219. Epub 2018 Dec 6.

Fish Disease Research Unit, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany.

Aeromonas spp. are ubiquitous in the aquatic environment, acting as facultative or obligate pathogens for fish. Identifying Aeromonas spp. is important for pathogenesis and prognosis in diagnostic cases but can be difficult because of their close relationship. Forty-four already characterized isolates of Aeromonas spp. were analysed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing, by gyrase B sequencing, by analysing their fatty acid profiles, by biochemical reactions and by MALDI-TOF MS. To determine their pathogenicity, cytotoxicity, adhesion to mucus and the expression of 12 virulence factors were tested. The susceptibility of the isolates towards 13 different antibiotics was determined. MALDI-TOF MS was found to be an acceptable identification method for Aeromonas spp. Although the method does not detect all species correctly, it is time-effective and entails relatively low costs and no other methods achieved better results. A high prevalence of virulence-related gene fragments was detected in almost all examined Aeromonas spp., especially in A. hydrophila and A. salmonicida, and most isolates exhibited a cytotoxic effect. Single isolates of A. hydrophila and A. salmonicida showed multiple resistance to antibiotics. These results might indicate the potentially pathogenic capacity of Aeromonas spp., suggesting a risk for aquatic animals and even humans, given their ubiquitous nature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfd.12917DOI Listing
February 2019

Influence of a membrane-denitrification reactor on the microbial community of an aquaculture recirculation system.

J Fish Dis 2019 Jan 25;42(1):141-146. Epub 2018 Nov 25.

Fish Disease Research Unit, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfd.12918DOI Listing
January 2019

Recommendations for identifying pathogenic Vibrio spp. as part of disease surveillance programmes in recirculating aquaculture systems for Pacific white shrimps (Litopenaeus vannamei).

J Fish Dis 2018 Dec 12;41(12):1877-1897. Epub 2018 Oct 12.

Fish Disease Research Unit, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Hannover, Germany.

Due to their pathogenic potential, identifying Vibrio species from recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) for Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) is of great importance to determine the risk for animal's as well as for the consumer's health. The present study compared identification results for a total of 93 Vibrio isolates, including type strains and isolates from shrimp aquaculture. Results from biochemical identifications, 16S rRNA sequencing, sequencing of the uridylate kinase encoding gene pyrH and analysis of the protein spectra assessed by MALDI-TOF MS were compared. The results achieved by these different methods were highly divergent for many of the analysed isolates and for several Vibrio spp difficulties in reliably identifying occurred. These difficulties mainly resulted from missing entries in digital databases, a low number of comparable isolates analysed so far, and high interspecific similarities of biochemical traits and nucleotide sequences between the closely related Vibrio species. Due to the presented data, it can be concluded that for identifying Vibrio spp. from samples in routine diagnostics, it is recommended to use MALDI-TOF MS analysis for a quick and reliable identification of pathogenic Vibrio sp. Nevertheless, editing the database, containing the main spectra of Vibrio is recommended to achieve reliable identification results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfd.12897DOI Listing
December 2018

Detection of piscine orthoreoviruses (PRV-1 and PRV-3) in Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout farmed in Germany.

Transbound Emerg Dis 2019 Jan 23;66(1):14-21. Epub 2018 Nov 23.

Fish Disease Research Unit, Institute for Parasitology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany.

Piscine orthoreoviruses (PRVs) are emerging pathogens causing circulatory disorders in salmonids. PRV-1 is the etiological cause of heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI) in farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), characterized by epicarditis, inflammation and necrosis of the myocardium, myositis and necrosis of red skeletal muscle. In 2017, two German breeding farms for Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) experienced disease outbreaks with mortalities of 10% and 20% respectively. The main clinical signs were exhaustion and lethargic behaviour. During examinations, PRV-1 in salmon and PRV-3 in trout were detected for the first time in Germany. Further analyses also indicated the presence of Aeromonas salmonicida in internal tissues of both species. While PRV-1 could be putatively linked with the disease in Atlantic salmon, most of the rainbow trout suffered from an infection with A. salmonicida and not with PRV-3. Interestingly, the sequence analysis suggests that the German PRV-3 isolate is more similar to a Chilean PRV-3 isolate from Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) than to PRV-3 from rainbow trout from Norway. This indicates a wide geographic distribution of this virus or dispersal by global trade. These findings indicate that infections with PRVs should be considered when investigating disease outbreaks in salmonids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tbed.13018DOI Listing
January 2019

Flavobacteria as secondary pathogens in carp suffering from koi sleepy disease.

J Fish Dis 2018 Nov 1;41(11):1631-1642. Epub 2018 Aug 1.

Fish Disease Research Unit, Institute for Parasitology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany.

Koi sleepy disease (KSD) is a disease with increasing importance in global common carp aquaculture. Despite the fact that carp edema virus (CEV) is most likely the causative agent of KSD, the disease often presents itself as multifactorial with several parasites and bacteria species present on gills, skin or in internal organs. Therefore, in this study, we analysed and presented initial results on an interaction of flavobacteria and CEV in the development of clinical KSD in carp suffering from proliferative gill disease. We examined selected field samples from Germany and Hungary and confirmed the presence of CEV and flavobacteria co-infections in subset of the samples. In several infection experiments, we studied the transfer and dynamics of both infections. Furthermore, we analysed which Flavobacterium species could be isolated from KSD-affected fish and concluded that Flavobacterium branchiophilum is a possible copathogen. Antibiotic treatment experiments showed that CEV seems to be the primary pathogen causing an insult to the gills of carp and by these enabling other pathogens, including F. branchiophilum, to establish co-infections. Despite the fact that F. branchiophilum co-infection is not required for the development of clinical KSD, it could contribute to the pathological changes recorded during the outbreaks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfd.12872DOI Listing
November 2018

Stunning of common carp: Results from a field and a laboratory study.

BMC Vet Res 2018 Jun 27;14(1):205. Epub 2018 Jun 27.

Fish Disease Research Unit, Institute for Parasitology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, D-30559, Hannover, Germany.

Background: Common carp Cyprinus carpio is an important food fish in Central Europe, which in some regions is consumed as part of local tradition. The majority of carp are sold by small retailers and not processed in commercial processing plants. The overall objective of this study was to monitor how animal welfare is safeguarded during the stunning and slaughtering of carp for retail sale. For this, the stunning and slaughtering process was monitored on 12 carp farms. Four welfare-related parameters were assessed: (i) stunning success, (ii) injuries related to the applied stunning method, (iii) time between stunning and slaughter, and (iv) visible responses of carp during slaughtering. In addition, indicators of physiological stress were measured. In order to analyse whether the absence of behavioural indicators of consciousness after electrical stunning was correlated with unconsciousness a complementary laboratory study was performed. Here, carp were exposed to electrical current densities between 0.09 and 0.41 A/dm. The presence of behavioural responses and visually-evoked responses (VER) in the electro-encephalogram in response to light flashes as indicators for an absence of consciousness was recorded.

Results: The carp farms applied manual percussive (18%) or electrical (23%) stunning methods, while the majority of farms used a combination of electrical stunning immediately followed by manual percussive stunning (59%). In the latter condition, 92.6% of stunned carp displayed no behavioural indicators of consciousness and significantly fewer injuries related to mishits compared to sole percussive stunning. In the laboratory study, behavioural indicators of consciousness recovered in carp between 1 and 9 min following removal of the electrical current. However, VER could be recorded already at 30 ± 8 s post stunning. This indicates a fast recovery of carp from electrical stunning when exposed to current densities in the range of those generated by commercially available stunning instruments for fish.

Conclusions: Under field conditions, percussion (applied manually) and electrical stunning might be poor inducers of unconsciousness before slaughter, while a combination was most effective. In order to undertake improvements in electrical stunning, further investigations into the current density, required for inducing prolonged insensibility in carp during electrical stunning, are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-018-1530-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6020363PMC
June 2018

Acclimation to cold and warm temperatures is associated with differential expression of male carp blood proteins involved in acute phase and stress responses, and lipid metabolism.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2018 May 12;76:305-315. Epub 2018 Mar 12.

Department of Gametes and Embryo Biology, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Olsztyn, Poland.

The environmental temperature affects plasma biochemical indicators, antioxidant status and hematological and immunological parameters in fish. So far, only single blood proteins have been identified in response to temperature changes. The aim of this study was to compare the proteome of carp blood plasma from males acclimated to warm (30 °C) and cold (10 °C) temperatures by two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis followed by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. A total of 47 spots were found to be differentially regulated by temperature (>1.2-fold change, p < 0.05): 25 protein spots were more abundant in warm-acclimated males and 22 were enriched in cold-acclimated males. The majority of differentially regulated proteins were associated with acute phase response signalling involved in: i) activation of the complement system (complement C3-H1), ii) neutralization of proteolytic enzymes (inter-alpha inhibitor H3, fetuin, serpinA1, antithrombin, alpha2-macroglobulin), iii) scavenging of free hemoglobin and radicals (haptoglobin, Wap65 kDa), iv) clot-formation (fibrinogen beta and alpha chain, T-kininogen) and v) the host's immune response modulation (ApoA1 and ApoA2). However, quite different sets of these proteins or proteoforms were involved in response to cold and warm temperatures. In addition, cold acclimation seems to be related to the proteins involved in lipid metabolism (apolipoproteins A and 14 kDa) and stress response (corticosteroid binding globulin). We discovered a strongly regulated protein Cap31 upon cold acclimation, which can serve as a potential blood biomarker of cold response in carp. These studies significantly extend our knowledge concerning mechanisms underlying thermal adaptation in poikilotherms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2018.03.018DOI Listing
May 2018

Viral infections in common carp lead to a disturbance of mucin expression in mucosal tissues.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2017 Dec 17;71:353-358. Epub 2017 Oct 17.

Fish Disease Research Unit, Institute for Parasitology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, 30559 Hannover, Germany.

In response to the constant challenge by potential pathogens, external surfaces of fish, their skin, gills and intestinal tract, are coated with mucus, a gel like substance which largely prevents the entry of pathogens. This mucus gel consists mainly of water and mucins, large O-glycosylated proteins, which are responsible for forming a gel like mixture. A modulation of the mRNA expression of mucins, was described in viral diseases in mammals however there is a knowledge gap about the regulation of mucins during viral infection in fish. Therefore, novel sequences for common carp mucins were located in an early version of the common carp genome and their mRNA expression measured in carp under infection with three different viral pathogens: (i) the alloherpesvirus cyprinid herpesvirus 3, (ii) the rhabdovirus spring viremia of carp virus and (iii) the poxvirus carp edema virus. The results showed a downregulation of mucin mRNA expression in gills and gut of common carp under infection with these pathogenic viruses. This could be a sign of a severe distress to the mucosal tissues in carp which occurs under viral infection. The reduced expression of mucins could help explaining the increased susceptibility of virus-infected carp to secondary bacterial infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2017.10.029DOI Listing
December 2017

Comparison of PCR methods for the detection of genetic variants of carp edema virus.

Dis Aquat Organ 2017 Sep;126(1):75-81

Fish Disease Research Unit, Institute for Parasitology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, 30559 Hannover, Germany.

The infection of common carp and its ornamental variety, koi, with the carp edema virus (CEV) is often associated with the occurrence of a clinical disease called 'koi sleepy disease'. The disease may lead to high mortality in both koi and common carp populations. To prevent further spread of the infection and the disease, a reliable detection method for this virus is required. However, the high genetic variability of the CEV p4a gene used for PCR-based diagnostics could be a serious obstacle for successful and reliable detection of virus infection in field samples. By analysing 39 field samples from different geographical origins obtained from koi and farmed carp and from all 3 genogroups of CEV, using several recently available PCR protocols, we investigated which of the protocols would allow the detection of CEV from all known genogroups present in samples from Central European carp or koi populations. The comparison of 5 different PCR protocols showed that the PCR assays (both end-point and quantitative) developed in the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science exhibited the highest analytical inclusivity and diagnostic sensitivity. Currently, this makes them the most suitable protocols for detecting viruses from all known CEV genogroups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/dao03152DOI Listing
September 2017

Purification, characterization and expression of transferrin from rainbow trout seminal plasma.

Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol 2017 Jun 11;208-209:38-46. Epub 2017 Apr 11.

Department of Gamete and Embryo Biology, Semen Biology Group, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Tuwima 10, 10-748 Olsztyn, Poland.

Transferrin (TF) is recognized as a multifunctional protein and has been implicated in antioxidative, antimicrobial protection, growth, differentiation and cytoprotection effects. An efficient, original three-step isolation procedure for TF consisting in hydrophobic interaction chromatography, gel filtration and preparative electrophoresis was developed. Rainbow trout TF was found to be N-glycosylated (not O-glycosylated) and phosphorylated at all serine, threonine, and tyrosine residues. The protein consists of several proteoforms with an average molecular weight of 76.9kDa and isoelectric point ranging from 5.2 to 5.7. Rainbow trout TF has two functional iron-binding sites and appears to be quite distinct from carp TF regarding glycosylation and iron-binding properties. The highest gene expression of TF was detected in liver and testis, the lowest was detected in head kidney, spleen and efferent ducts. For the first time TF was identified in the semen of several salmonid species. TF was localized within testis, mainly in spermatozoa, Sertoli, Leydig cells, as well as in both columnar secretory and basal cells within the efferent duct. This work contributes to the existing knowledge information indicating significant variations in TF structure within teleost fish. The results obtained in this study provide valuable data on the TF from trout seminal plasma and the physiological role of this protein in the reproductive tract of salmonids. The results are important for our understanding of the role of TF in the antioxidant protection and resistance to pathogenic infections of reproductive cells. The protective role of TF against environmental pollution with heavy metals, especially during prolonged storage of spermatozoa in the spermatic duct, as well as regulation of spermatogenesis and providing Fe for developing germ cells is also postulated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpb.2017.04.002DOI Listing
June 2017

Experimental infections of different carp strains with the carp edema virus (CEV) give insights into the infection biology of the virus and indicate possible solutions to problems caused by koi sleepy disease (KSD) in carp aquaculture.

Vet Res 2017 02 21;48(1):12. Epub 2017 Feb 21.

Fish Disease Research Unit, Institute for Parasitology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, 30559, Hannover, Germany.

Outbreaks of koi sleepy disease (KSD) caused by carp edema virus (CEV) may seriously affect populations of farmed common carp, one of the most important fish species for global food production. The present study shows further evidence for the involvement of CEV in outbreaks of KSD among carp and koi populations: in a series of infection experiments, CEV from two different genogroups could be transmitted to several strains of naïve common carp via cohabitation with fish infected with CEV. In recipient fish, clinical signs of KSD were induced. The virus load and viral gene expression results confirm gills as the target organ for CEV replication. Gill explants also allowed for a limited virus replication in vitro. The in vivo infection experiments revealed differences in the virulence of the two CEV genogroups which were associated with infections in koi or in common carp, with higher virulence towards the same fish variety as the donor fish. When the susceptibility of different carp strains to a CEV infection and the development of KSD were experimentally investigated, Amur wild carp showed to be relatively more resistant to the infection and did not develop clinical signs for KSD. However, the resistance could not be related to a higher magnitude of type I IFN responses of affected tissues. Despite not having a mechanistic explanation for the resistance of Amur wild carp to KSD, we recommend using this carp strain in breeding programs to limit potential losses caused by CEV in aquaculture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13567-017-0416-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5320791PMC
February 2017

Serine protease inhibitor Kazal-type 2 is expressed in the male reproductive tract of carp with a possible role in antimicrobial protection.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2017 Jan 17;60:150-163. Epub 2016 Nov 17.

Department of Gamete and Embryo Biology, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn, 10-748 Olsztyn, Poland.

The presence of the low-molecular-mass serine protease inhibitor Kazal-type (Spink) is a characteristic feature of vertebrate semen. Its main function is control of the serine protease in the acrosome, acrosin. Here we showed for the first time that Spink is present in the seminal plasma of carp, which have anacrosomal spermatozoa. Using a three-step isolation procedure that consisted in gel filtration and RP-HPLC and re-RP-HPLC, we isolated this inhibitor and identified it as serine protease inhibitor Kazal-type 2 (Spink2), a reproductive-derived member of the Spink family. The cDNA sequence of this inhibitor obtained from carp testis encoded 77 amino acids, including a 17 amino acids signal peptide; this sequence was distinct from fish Kazal-type inhibitors. The mRNA expression analysis showed that Spink2 is expressed predominantly in carp testis and spermatic duct. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated its localization in testis in Sertoli, Leydig and germ cells at all developmental stages (with the exception of spermatozoa) and in the epithelium of the spermatic duct. Aside from strong inhibition of trypsin, this inhibitor acts strongly against subtilisin and possesses bacteriostatic activities against Lactobacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Aeromonas hydrophila. The localization of Spink2 in carp reproductive tract suggests an important function in spermatogenesis and in maintenance of the microenvironment in which sperm maturation occurs and sperm are stored. Our results suggest that Spink2 from carp seminal plasma may play a role in antibacterial semen defense, protecting semen against unwanted proteolysis within the reproductive tract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2016.11.041DOI Listing
January 2017

Draining and liming of ponds as an effective measure for containment of CyHV-3 in carp farms.

Dis Aquat Organ 2016 08;120(3):255-60

Fish Disease Research Unit, Centre of Infectious Diseases, University of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, 30559 Hannover, Germany.

Infections of common carp Cyprinus carpio and koi, its coloured morphotypes, with the cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3) can induce severe clinical signs and increased mortality in affected stocks. This may significantly challenge the economic basis of carp farming in Central Europe. To limit virus spread in carp farms, effective disinfection measures for ponds stocked with infected populations are required. In the traditional European pond aquaculture of carp, draining and liming of ponds with quicklime (CaO) up to pH 12 is a well-established disinfection measure against various pathogens. The present field study investigated whether these measures are sufficient for the inactivation of CyHV-3 infectivity in carp ponds. After draining and liming, the ponds were stocked with carp fry from a CyHV-3-negative stock, and 2 ponds were examined for the presence of CyHV-3-specific DNA sequences during the growth period of the carp and in the harvested stock. Wild fish (from the ponds, and feeder and drainage canals) and water samples (from the ponds) were also examined for CyHV-3-specific DNA sequences; and naïve carp were cohabited with wild fish, or exposed to the pondwater samples, to test for the presence of infectious virus. All examined samples remained negative for CyHV-3 throughout the study. This indicates that draining and liming with quicklime can be a suitable disinfection measure for ponds after a CyHV-3 outbreak in carp aquaculture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/dao03024DOI Listing
August 2016

Concentration of carp edema virus (CEV) DNA in koi tissues affected by koi sleepy disease (KSD).

Dis Aquat Organ 2016 May;119(3):245-51

Fish Disease Research Unit, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, 30559 Germany.

Carp edema virus (CEV), the causative agent of 'koi sleepy disease' (KSD), appears to be spreading worldwide and to be responsible for losses in koi, ornamental varieties of the common carp Cyprinus carpio. Clinical signs of KSD include lethargic behaviour, swollen gills, sunken eyes and skin alterations and can easily be mistaken for other diseases, such as infection with cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3). To improve the future diagnosis of CEV infection and to provide a tool to better explore the relationship between viral load and clinical disease, we developed a specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) for strains of the virus known to infect koi carp. In samples from several clinically affected koi, CEV-specific DNA was present in a range from 1 to 2,046,000 copies, with a mean of 129,982 copies and a median of 45 copies per 250 ng of isolated DNA, but virus DNA could not be detected in all clinically affected koi. A comparison of the newly developed qPCR, which is based on a dual-labelled probe, to an existing end-point PCR procedure revealed higher specificity and sensitivity of the qPCR and demonstrated that the new protocol could improve CEV detection in koi. In addition to improved diagnosis, the newly developed qPCR test would be a useful research tool. For example, studies on the pathobiology of CEV could employ controlled infection experiments in which the development of clinical signs could be examined in parallel with a quantitative determination of virus load.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/dao02994DOI Listing
May 2016

First outbreak of an infection with infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV) in ornamental fish in Germany.

Dis Aquat Organ 2016 May;119(3):239-44

Fish Disease Research Unit, University of Veterinary Medicine, 30559 Hannover, Germany.

In 2014, infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV), a member of the genus Megalocytivirus, was detected for the first time in ornamental fish in Germany. Since 2013, angelfish Pterophyllum spp. originating from Colombia have experienced significant epizootics in a number of German retailers' facilities. The diseased fish showed symptoms such as increased ventilation, swollen gills, and ulcerations of the skin. In 2014, diseased angelfish P. altum and platys Xiphophorus maculatus maintained in the same recirculating system were examined. Histopathological lesions included hypertrophic cells, single-cell necrosis, and an inflammatory infiltration of granulocytes, lymphocytes, and macrophages in liver, spleen, and kidney. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of numerous polygonal viral particles (150 nm in diameter) within the cytoplasm of enlarged cells. A PCR assay for the detection of megalocytiviruses amplified 777 bp of major capsid protein gene that was 100% identical to ISKNV. This is the first report of an ISKNV outbreak in Germany that most probably was introduced by infected angelfish from Colombia. To our knowledge, this is the first report of ISKNV detected in fish imported from South America. Given the lethal nature of megalocytiviruses, proper biosecurity would seem prudent in countries like Germany where these emerging pathogens are not established.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/dao02995DOI Listing
May 2016

Dietary β-glucan (MacroGard®) enhances survival of first feeding turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) larvae by altering immunity, metabolism and microbiota.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2016 Jan 10;48:94-104. Epub 2015 Nov 10.

Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany. Electronic address:

Reflecting the natural biology of mass spawning fish aquaculture production of fish larvae is often hampered by high and unpredictable mortality rates. The present study aimed to enhance larval performance and immunity via the oral administration of an immunomodulator, β-glucan (MacroGard(®)) in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus). Rotifers (Brachionus plicatilis) were incubated with or without yeast β-1,3/1,6-glucan in form of MacroGard(®) at a concentration of 0.5 g/L. Rotifers were fed to first feeding turbot larvae once a day. From day 13 dph onwards all tanks were additionally fed untreated Artemia sp. nauplii (1 nauplius ml/L). Daily mortality was monitored and larvae were sampled at 11 and 24 dph for expression of 30 genes, microbiota analysis, trypsin activity and size measurements. Along with the feeding of β-glucan daily mortality was significantly reduced by ca. 15% and an alteration of the larval microbiota was observed. At 11 dph gene expression of trypsin and chymotrypsin was elevated in the MacroGard(®) fed fish, which resulted in heightened tryptic enzyme activity. No effect on genes encoding antioxidative proteins was observed, whilst the immune response was clearly modulated by β-glucan. At 11 dph complement component c3 was elevated whilst cytokines, antimicrobial peptides, toll like receptor 3 and heat shock protein 70 were not affected. At the later time point (24 dph) an anti-inflammatory effect in form of a down-regulation of hsp 70, tnf-α and il-1β was observed. We conclude that the administration of MacroGard(®) induced an immunomodulatory response and could be used as an effective measure to increase survival in rearing of turbot.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2015.11.013DOI Listing
January 2016