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Translocation of viable Aeromonas salmonicida across the intestine of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum)

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The pathogenic bacterium Aeromonas salmonicida is the causative agent of the destructive disease furunculosis in salmonids. Horizontal transmission in salmonids has been suggested to occur via the skin, gills and/or intestine. Previous reports are contradictory regarding the role of the intestine as a route of infection. The present study therefore investigates the possibility of bacterial translocation across intestinal epithelia using Ussing chamber technology, in vitro. Intestinal segments were exposed for 90 min to fluorescein isothiocyanate-labelled pathogenic A. salmonicida. Sampling from the serosal side of the Ussing chambers showed that bacteria were able to translocate across the intestinal epithelium in both the proximal and distal regions. Plating and subsequent colony counting showed that the bacteria were viable after translocation. During the 90 min exposure to A. salmonicida, the intestinal segments maintained high viability as measured by electrical parameters. The distal region responded to bacterial exposure by increasing the electrical resistance, indicating an increased mucus secretion. This study thus demonstrates translocation of live A. salmonicida through the intestinal epithelium of rainbow trout, suggesting that the intestine is a possible route of infection in salmonids.
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Keywords: Aeromonas salmonicida ssp; Oncorhynchus mykiss; Ussing chamber; bacterial translocation; cohabitant challenge; furunculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Department of Zoology/Zoophysiology, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden 2:  Institute of Marine Research, Matre Aquaculture Research Station, Matredal, Norway 3:  Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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