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Diseases of wild and farmed Finfish

Some fish and shellfish diseases of particular significance in Scotland.

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Tenacibaculum marimitum

Tenacibaculum marimitum (previously Flexibacter maritimus), also a member of the flavobacteriaceae family, is the causative agent of the ulcerative condition tenacibaculosis (also termed marine flexibacteriosis). 

The bacterium occurs mainly in saltwater environments and is responsible for considerable losses in aquaculture worldwide.  The disease affects a wide range of marine species from which strains appear to be biochemically identical, however, three distinct host specific serological groups (O1, O2, O1/2)  have been found to exist (Avendano-Herrera et al 2004). 

Clinical signs of the disease include erosion and haemorrhaging of the mouth, ulcerative skin lesions, frayed fins and tail rot.  Stress is thought to be a contributing factor to T. marimitum infection.  T. marimitum prefers warmer water, growing at temperatures between 15ºC and 31ºC.

Diagnosis

  • Bacteriological culture and biochemical testing
  • Histopathology
  • Molecular confirmation
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