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Three species of Aeromonas (A. dhakensis, A. hydrophila and A. jandaei) isolated from freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis) with pneumonia and septicemia

Pu, W., Guo, G., Yang, N., Li, Q., Yin, F., Wang, P., Zheng, J., Zeng, J.
Letters in applied microbiology 2019 v.68 no.3 pp. 212-218
Aeromonas hydrophila, Aeromonas jandaei, Crocodylus siamensis, Danio rerio, antibiotics, blood, crocodiles, drugs, farms, freshwater, lethal dose 50, mixed infection, models, necropsy, pneumonia, septicemia, tissues, virulence, China
Hundreds of farmed Siamese crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis) died during July 2016 at a farm in Wenchang, Hainan, China. In two necropsied crocodiles, we observed symptoms of dermatorrhagia, hepatomegaly and hepatic congestion. Pulmonitis was diagnosed by pulmonary congestion and pulmonary fibrinous exudate. Septicaemia was diagnosed by isolation of three Aeromonas species from blood and visceral tissues; A. dhakensis, A. hydrophila and A. jandaei were identified by biochemical and molecular tests. We used a zebrafish model to determine the half‐maximal lethal dose (LD₅₀), and A. dhakensis was found to be the most virulent species, with an LD₅₀ of 8·91 × 10⁵ CFU per ml. The results of a drug sensitivity test indicated that these species were sensitive to 11 antibiotics. This is the first report of A. dhakensis, A. hydrophila and A. jandaei being isolated from a mixed infection in Siamese crocodiles. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: In this study, we isolated three species of Aeromonas (A. dhakensis, A. hydrophila and A. jandae) from farmed Siamese crocodiles with fatal fibrinous pneumonia and septicaemia. This is the first description of a mixed infection with three Aeromonas species among captive crocodilians.