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Spleen Index and Mannose-Binding Lectin Levels in Four Channel Catfish Families Exhibiting Different Susceptibilities to Flavobacterium columnare and Edwardsiella ictaluri

LaFrentz, Benjamin R., Shoemaker, Craig A., Booth, Natha J., Peterson, Brian C., Ourth, Donald D.
Journal of aquatic animal health 2012 v.24 no.3 pp. 141
Agricultural Research Service, Edwardsiella ictaluri, Flavobacterium columnare, Ictalurus punctatus, animal breeding, animal pathogenic bacteria, bacterial infections, blood plasma, disease resistance, fish, fish culture, fish diseases, genetic correlation, genetic variation, host-pathogen relationships, lectins, mannose, mortality, spleen, United States
Edwardsiella ictaluri and Flavobacterium columnare are two bacterial pathogens that affect channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus aquaculture. At the Catfish Genetics Research Unit (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service), some progress has been made in selectively breeding for resistance to E. ictaluri ; however, the susceptibility of these families to F. columnare is not known. Our objectives were to obtain baseline information on the susceptibility of channel catfish families (maintained as part of the selective breeding program) to E. ictaluri and F. columnare and to determine whether the spleen index and plasma levels of mannose-binding lectin (MBL) are predictive indicators of susceptibility to these pathogens. Four channel catfish families were used: family A was randomly chosen from spawns of fish that were not selectively bred for resistance; families B, C, and D were obtained after selection for resistance to E. ictaluri . All four families were immersion challenged with both bacterial pathogens; the spleen index and plasma MBL levels of unchallenged fish from each family were determined. Mean cumulative percent mortality (CPM) after E. ictaluri challenge ranged from 4% to 33% among families. Families A and B were more susceptible to F. columnare (mean CPM of three independent challenges = 95% and 93%) than families C and D (45% and 48%), demonstrating that there is genetic variation in resistance to F. columnare . Spleen index values and MBL levels were not significantly different, indicating that these metrics are not predictive indicators of F. columnare or E. ictaluri susceptibility in the four tested families. Interestingly, the two families that exhibited the highest CPM after F. columnare challenges had the lowest CPM after E. ictaluri challenge. Further research on larger numbers of families is needed to determine whether there is any genetic correlation between resistance to E. ictaluri and resistance to F. columnare . Received November 18, 2011; accepted February 23, 2012