Bacterial Cold Water Disease Salmonids

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1 Bacterial Cold Water Disease Salmonids Regg Neiger DVM, PhD Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department South Dakota State University Michael Barnes BS, MS Hatchery Manager and Researcher McNenny State Fish Hatchery South Dakota Game Fish & Parks

2 Flavobacterium psychrophilum cause of Cold Water Disease Important worldwide salmonid (trout and salmon) disease Believed to be ubiquitous in freshwater Most severe in young fish (fry and fingerlings) Older fish can be affected

3 Bacterial Cold Water Disease Typically occurs at low temp F Severity decreases with increased age of fish and temp Gram negative bacterium Affinity for skin and muscle causing deep ulceration. Also can cause septicemia Mortality rates from 1 to 70% varies due to water temperature, inherent bacterial virulence, fish genetics

4 Pathogenesis Bacteria present in water or fish reservoir Enter via broken skin Vertical transmission via eggs is suspected Spreads via fibrous connective tissue, muscle, and internal organs. Produces enzymes the degrade collagen etc.

5 Diagnosis Gross lesions: Skin and muscle ulcerations, petechial hemorrhage in viscera, skeletal deformities Microscopic lesions in skin, muscle, spleen, kidney, skeletal system, with large numbers of gram negative long thin bacterial rods Bacterial culture PCR examination

6 BCWD in Juvenile Steelhead Trout Photograph from AFS Blue Book

7 Stumpy, peduncle ulcer, etc

8 Peduncle Lesion Photograph from the archive collection at the National Fish Health Research Laboratory, WV

9 Treatment and Prevention Antibiotics Florfenicol effective but some resistance is being reported. Need a Veterinary Feed Directive to use this drug. Oxytetracycline is not as effective, VFD not needed.

10 Role for Probiotics? Compete and Inhibit F psychrophilium, Stimulate Innate Immunity

11 Genetically Resistant Strains

12 BCWD Vaccine

13 Other treatments that may help Increasing Water temp above 20C decreases disease Increase Salinity Both Are Expensive

14 Control of BCWD at McNenny State Fish Hatchery From Mike Barnes Hatchery Manager and Researcher Innovative Management Techniques

15 Management Techniques 1. Jar incubation (vs. trays). Trays need anti-fungal treatment or remove dead eggs every couple of days either one causes stress.

16 Management Techniques 2. Reduce handling minimize routine inventories and fish movement Netting < 75% at McNenny Hatchery

17 Management Techniques 3. Reduce rearing densities As low as 10% of established norms

18 Downside Because fish aren t routinely moved to increase screen sizes and reduce rearing densities: 1. More plugging risk 2. More time spent cleaning screens 3. More tanks to feed in early growth (start at very low densities).

19 Result of McNenny Management Changes repeated BCWD outbreaks with rainbow trout, high mortality, frequent antibiotic use (even multiple times on the same fish). 2010, with these novel rearing strategies the antibiotic use eliminated. Occasional BCWD outbreaks but mortality minimal <1 to 2%.

20 June 2011 Fingerling McConaughy RBT tanks not cleaned screens plugged tanks overflowed

21 June ,000 escaped, 10,000 recovered from drains and put into one raceway unit (major stress). Fish left in tanks, 33,000, were inventoried and put back into the tanks (less stress than other fish)

22 July 2011 BCWD Outbreak in Raceway Mortality (0.15% per day) started in raceway 3 weeks after moving. After 20 days total mortality of 2.5%. Symptoms typical of BCWD Flavobacterium psychrophilum diagnosed at SDSU. Treated with oxytetracycline, mortality dropped to normal levels ( % over a 8 week period) Trout left in tank room experienced normal mortality throughout this period.

23 Conclusions 1. F. psychrophilum always present at hatchery. 2. BCWD stress-induced at McNenny 3. Changes in management/rearing techniques to reduce stress are likely responsible for the decrease in BCWD outbreaks and severity. 4. Changes in management/rearing techniques have eliminated the need for antibiotics minimal mortality associated with disease can easily be accommodated with a small increase in production.

24 F. psychrophilum Isolate cultured from this break was similar to strain type 99/1A. Could have other types, only this break had isolate available for typing. Neighboring hatchery has strain CSF which is more common than 99/1A Surprise, we assumed both hatcheries had acquired disease from same source. McNenny has 1-2% loss when no major stress event and Neighbor has up to 25% loss even with use of antibiotics.

25 99/1A vs. CSF Is 99/1A less virulent? Is low stress management keeping immunity up? Is low density increasing growth rate and moving fish through susceptible stage faster? 4-5 inch fish resistant.

26 How do you handle prevention and treatment of Flavobacterium psychrophilum????? What is the best treatment or combination of treatments when there is a break? What is the order or timing of the different treatment if combinations are used? Anyone using preventions such as probiotics, vaccine, salt, water temperature, etc. Incorporation of stress management.

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