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Identification and Detection of the Pathogenic Bacteria Responsible for Swollen Abdomen Disease in Cultured Turbot, Scophthalmus maximus, and Flounder, Paralichthys olivaceus

Xue, Shuxia, Sun, Jinsheng, Xu, Wei
Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 2018 v.49 no.3 pp. 540-550
Edwardsiella tarda, Paralichthys olivaceus, Scophthalmus maximus, Vibrio alginolyticus, abdomen, aquaculture, bacteria, flounder, genes, heat shock proteins, kidneys, lethal dose 50, liver, pathogens, polymerase chain reaction, ribosomal RNA, sequence analysis, turbot
Swollen abdomen disease (SAD) seriously threatens the aquaculture of turbots and flounders. Two dominant bacterial strains, FS1 and FS2, were isolated from the livers and kidneys of fish with diagnosed SAD. Applications of biochemical analyses, sequence analyses of 16S ribosomal RNA gene and heat shock protein 60 gene revealed two distinct pathogenic bacterial species, Edwardsiella tarda and Vibrio alginolyticus. These two hypothesized SAD‐causing pathogens were validated by challenge trials on flounder, Paralichthys olivaceus. Challenges with E. tarda and V. alginolyticus demonstrated lethal dose 50 (LD₅₀) values at 1.51 × 10⁵ colony‐forming units (CFU) and 1.05 × 10⁵ CFU, respectively. To develop a rapid SAD diagnosis method in flounders and turbots, a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay method was developed to simultaneously detect E. tarda and V. alginolyticus. Our multiplex PCR assay successfully detected as low as 10⁵ CFU/mL E. tarda and V. alginolyticus in flounders and turbots. No other common fish pathogens were detected with the multiplex PCR, suggesting a high specificity of this assay. The multiplex PCR assay developed in this study showed a great reliability in detecting SAD‐causing bacterial pathogens. Further optimization of this assay may contribute to the development of a novel SAD diagnosis tool in aquaculture.