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The high prevalence of pathogenic Vibrio harveyi with multiple antibiotic resistance in scale drop and muscle necrosis disease of the hybrid grouper, Epinephelus fuscoguttatus (♀) × E. lanceolatus (♂), in China

Zhu, Z M, Dong, C F, Weng, S P, He, J G
Journal of fish diseases 2018 v.41 no.4 pp. 589-601
Epinephelus fuscoguttatus, Vibrio harveyi, bacitracin, coasts, genes, grouper, hybrids, marine fish, metronidazole, mortality, multiple drug resistance, muscles, necrosis, penicillins, polypeptides, serine proteinases, streptomycin, virulence, virulent strains, China
Scale drop and muscle necrosis disease with high mortality widely occurred recently in the hybrid grouper (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus ♀ × E. lanceolatus ♂), a crucial cultured marine fish species in China. In this study, 30 Harveyi clade isolates of 27 Vibrio harveyi strains were isolated from diseased hybrid groupers in the south‐east and north‐east coastal areas of China. A total of 22 V. harveyi strains were determined to be pathogenic, and most challenged fish died within 2 days of infection; surviving individuals exhibited scale drop and deep dermal lesions as naturally diseased fish. Although five typical virulence genes, including luxR, toxRVₕ, chiA, serine protease and vhh widely existed in V. harveyi, no obvious correlation was established between virulent strains and virulence genes harboured in them. Furthermore, multiple antibiotic resistance was widely exhibited in Harveyi clade strains, particularly for penicillins, polypeptides, lincomycins, acetylspiramycin, streptomycin, metronidazole and bacitracin. And the multiple antibiotic resistance indices were gradually decreased from southern to northern areas of China. This study demonstrated that the pathogenic V. harveyi with multiple antibiotic resistance is highly prevalent in hybrid grouper in China, which requires particular attention.