Skip to main content

Open Access High Mortality in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Download Article:
A group of 100 adult zebrafish were housed in a new system at a stocking density of 20 fish per tank. Four weeks after arrival, 15 fish presented with petechial hemorrhages and ulceration on the surfaces of the skin. Samples of the fish were collected for histopathology, fungal culture, and bacterial culture and sensitivity. Water samples were analyzed for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and submitted for bacterial and fungal culture. Histologically, the epidermis had multiple areas of ulceration and mononuclear cell infiltrate. Gram-positive bacteria were observed beneath the surface of the skin and surrounding the outer aspect of the spinal cord. Both Aeromonas hydrophila and A. sobria were isolated from the affected fish, and a diagnosis of motile aeromonad septicemia (MAS) was made. Water from the tanks had a nitrite level of 1–5 ppm, a toxic concentration that indicated poor water quality. Because the housing system had been seeded with Nitrobacter spp. and Nitrosomonas spp. only 2 weeks prior to the arrival of the fish, a lack of colonizing nitrifying bacteria was deemed to be the cause of the high nitrite level, which, along with over-crowding, stressed the fish and increased their susceptibility to MAS. No further cases of septicemia were observed once the nitrite level and stocking density were reduced.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Animal Resources, Emory University, School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322causative A 2: Division of Animal Resources, Emory University, School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322causative A, Department of Pathology, Emory University, School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322causative A

Publication date: May 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JAALAS) serves as an official communication vehicle for the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The journal includes a section of refereed articles and a section of AALAS association news. The mission of the refereed section of the journal is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information on animal biology, technology, facility operations, management, and compliance as relevant to the AALAS membership. JAALAS accepts research reports (data-based) or scholarly reports (literature-based), with the caveat that all articles, including solicited manuscripts, must include appropriate references and must undergo peer review.

    Attention Members: To access the full text of the articles, be sure you are logged in to the AALAS website.

    Attention: please note, due to a temporary technical problem, reference linking within the content is not available at this time

  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • For issues prior to 1997
  • Institutional Subscription Activation
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content