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  • Author: Ewa Paździor x
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Shewanella putrefaciens – a new opportunistic pathogen of freshwater fish


In recent years, Shewanella putrefaciens, commonly known as a halophilic bacteria, has been associated with serious health disorders in freshwater fish. Therefore, it has been described as a new aetiological agent of the disease, named shewanellosis. S. putrefaciens is a heterogeneous group of microorganisms, belonging to the Alteromonadaceae family. Based on different criteria, three biovars and biogroups as well as four genomic groups have been distinguished. The first infections of S. putrefaciens in fish were reported in rabbitfish (Siganus rivulatus) and European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.). Outbreaks in farmed fish were reported in Poland for the first time in 2004. The disease causes skin disorders and haemorrhages in internal organs. It should be noted that S. putrefaciens could also be associated with different infections in humans, such as skin and tissue infections, bacteraemia, otitis. Investigations on pathogenic mechanisms of S. putrefaciens infections are very limited. Enzymatic activity, cytotoxin secretion, adhesion ability, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and the presence of siderophores are potential virulence factors of S. putrefaciens. Antimicrobial resistance of S. putrefaciens is different and depends on the isolates. In general, these bacteria are sensitive to antimicrobial drugs commonly used in aquaculture.

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Phenotypic diversity and potential virulence factors of the Shewanella putrefaciens group isolated from freshwater fish



The Shewanella putrefaciens group are ubiquitous microorganisms recently isolated from different freshwater fish species and causing serious health disorders. The purpose of the study was to characterise isolates of the S. putrefaciens group with special emphasis on elucidating serological diversity and determining putative virulence factors.

Material and Methods

Isolates collected from freshwater fish (n = 44) and reference strains were used. The identification of bacteria was carried out using biochemical kits and 16S rRNA sequencing. Polyclonal antibodies were prepared against the S. putrefaciens group. The bacterium’s susceptibility to antimicrobial agents, its enzymatic properties, and its adhesion ability to fish cell lines were also tested. Finally, selected isolates were used in challenge experiments in common carp and rainbow trout.


Excluding six isolates undeterminable for species, the bacteria were classified to three species: S. putrefaciens, S. xiamenensis, and S. oneidensis, and showed some phenotypic diversity. Fourteen serological variants of the S. putrefaciens group were determined with the newly developed serotyping scheme.


Serodiversity may play an important role in the virulence of particular isolates. Further, S. putrefaciens group members adhere to epithelial cells and produce enzymes which may contribute to their virulence. Challenge tests confirmed the pathogenicity of the S. putrefaciens group for fish.

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Effects of vaccination against Yersinia ruckeri on oxidative stress biomarkers and liver and heart biochemistry in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)


To determine the effects of vaccination against Yersinia ruckeri on the health condition of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum) in general, and oxidative stress biomarkers and metabolic parameters specifically, as well as to identify mechanisms that underpin the susceptibility of fish to vaccination, we compared the liver and heart function, and the oxidative mechanism underlying those effects, by detecting relevant lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation biomarkers, as well as aerobic-anaerobic metabolism in trout immunized against Y. ruckeri at 30 days post-vaccination and in healthy individuals. In our study, hepatic aminotransferase activities were positively associated with the oxidative stress biomarkers in the trout vaccinated against Y. ruckeri. Moreover, similar associations were observed in the cardiac tissue of the immunized trout. Decreased aldehydic and ketonic derivatives of oxidatively modified proteins and the reduction of aminotransferase and lactate dehydrogenase activities were sensitive to the vaccination of trout against Y. ruckeri and may potentially be used as biomarkers in evaluating vaccine effects in the liver of rainbow trout. Understanding the role of biochemical changes in the tissues of vaccinated trout has important implications for understanding of the complex physiological changes that occur in immunization, and also for improving aquaculture practices to maximize tissue growth and the health of vaccinated trout.

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Acinetobacter johnsonii and Acinetobacter lwoffii - the emerging fish pathogens


The aim of this study was to characterise Acinetobacter sp. isolated from fish. Eight isolates obtained from diseased rainbow trout and common carp cultured in Poland were analysed. The isolates were identified using API 20 NE system as Acinetobacter sp. Afterwards, they were identified by sequencing 16S rDNA gene fragment. The bacteria were identified as A. johnsonii (two isolates), A. lwoffii (two isolates), A. junii/johnsonii (one isolate), A. calcoaceticus (one isolate), and Acinetobacter sp. (two isolates). The drug resistance of isolates was examined. The majority of the isolates were resistant to ampicilin, amoxicillin, and cephalothin and all demonstrated sensitivity to fluoroquinolones, except of one isolate. Two isolates were selected for the experimental infection of trout and carp to confirm their pathogenicity. Experimentally infected fish showed disease symptoms similar to those observed in fish naturally infected with these bacteria. This is the first report concerning pathogenicity of A. johnsonii for rainbow trout and A. lwoffii for common carp. These bacteria were regarded as emerging opportunistic pathogens of fish farmed in Poland. Acinetobacter strains are commonly known as microorganisms transmitting the antibiotic resistance genes. Therefore, they might have a great impact on the resistance transfer in aquaculture.

Open access