Molecular Identification and Characterization of Vibrio Species and Mycobacterium Species in Wild and Cultured Marine Fish from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
ABSTRACT: In contrast to numerous documented pathogens and infectious diseases of aquaculture, there is a lack of baseline data and information regarding pathogenic agents' prevalence in wild marine fish populations. This study focused on two common fish pathogenic microorganisms, namely Mycobacterium species and Vibrio species, both of which are known to be major causes of fish loss, occasionally to the extent of being a limiting factor in fish production. Both microorganisms are known as zoonotic agents. In total, 210 wild marine indigenous and Lessepsian fish from four different species from the eastern Mediterranean Sea were sampled and tested for Vibrio species and Mycobacterium species during a two-year period (2016-2017). Using PCR with 16S rRNA primers, we detected different strain variations of Mycobacterium species and Vibrio species and, based on the sequencing results, the overall prevalence for Vibrio species in wild fish in 2016 was significantly higher compared to 2017. No significant difference was detected for Mycobacterium species prevalence in wild fish between 2016 and 2017. In addition, 72 gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) from an Israeli offshore marine farm were also examined during the two-year period (2017-2018). The results suggest that Mycobacterium species prevalence was significantly higher in 2018, while in 2017 there was no positive results for Mycobacterium species. In addition, there was no significant difference between both years in regard to the prevalence of Vibrio species for maricultured fish. These results highlight the necessity of continuous molecular monitoring in order to evaluate the prevalence of pathogenic microorganisms in both wild and cultured fish populations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Renibacterium salmoninarum and Mycobacterium sp. are important bacterial pathogens of fish. R. salmoninarum is the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease, a Gram-positive bacterium mostly known for causing chronic infections in salmonid fish, while multiple species belonging to the Mycobacterium genus have been associated with mycobacteriosis in fish as well as in human. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of these two bacterial pathogens in populations of wild brown trout (Salmo trutta fario) in four rivers (Kamp, Wulka, Traun and Ybbs) in Austria. RESULTS:A total of 457 kidney samples were examined for both bacterial agents using nested and conventional PCR as well as bacterial cultivation on KDM-2, histological examination and immunohistochemistry. Molecular evidence showed an estimated prevalence level of 0.94% for R. salmoninarum in 2017 while the bacterium could not be detected in 2018 and histology showed signs consistent with a low-level chronic inflammation in the kidney of infected fish. Similarly, no fish were found positive for Mycobacterium in 2017 but in 2018, the prevalence was found to be 37.03% in the Kamp river (4.08% across all rivers). The sequencing data confirmed that these fish carried Mycobacterium sp. although the precise species of Mycobacterium could not be ascertained. CONCLUSIONS:This survey constitutes the first insight into the prevalence rate of R. salmoninarum and Mycobacterium sp. in wild brown trout (Salmo trutta fario) populations in Austria. Both of these pathogens were only detected in the summer months (June and July), which might suggest that the stress linked to increased water temperature could act as stressor factor and contribute to the outbreak of these diseases. The age of the fish might also play a role, especially in the case of Mycobacterium sp. as all the infected fish were in their first summer (June).
Project description:This study is an initial description and discussion of the kidney and liver microbial communities of five common fish species sampled from four sites along the Eastern Mediterranean Sea shoreline. The goals of the present study were to establish a baseline dataset of microbial communities associated with the tissues of wild marine fish, in order to examine species-specific microbial characteristics and to screen for candidate pathogens. This issue is especially relevant due to the development of mariculture farms and the possible transmission of pathogens from wild to farmed fish and vice versa. Although fish were apparently healthy, 16S rRNA NGS screening identified three potential fish bacterial pathogens: Photobacterium damselae, Vibrio harveyi and Streptococcus iniae. Based on the distribution patterns and relative abundance, 16 samples were classified as potential pathogenic bacteria-infected samples (PPBIS). Hence, PPBIS prevalence was significantly higher in kidneys than in liver samples and variation was found between the fish species. Significant differences were observed between fish species, organs and sites, indicating the importance of the environmental conditions on the fish microbiome. We applied a consistent sampling and analytical method for monitoring in long-term surveys which may be incorporated within other marine fish pathogens surveys around the world.
Project description:Heterotrophic bacteria associated with two specimens of the marine sponge Erylus discophorus were screened for their capacity to produce bioactive compounds against a panel of human pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus wild type and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumanii, Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus), fish pathogen (Aliivibrio fischeri) and environmentally relevant bacteria (Vibrio harveyi). The sponges were collected in Berlengas Islands, Portugal. Of the 212 isolated heterotrophic bacteria belonging to Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes, 31% produced antimicrobial metabolites. Bioactivity was found against both Gram positive and Gram negative and clinically and environmentally relevant target microorganisms. Bioactivity was found mainly against B. subtilis and some bioactivity against S. aureus MRSA, V. harveyi and A. fisheri. No antifungal activity was detected. The three most bioactive genera were Pseudovibrio (47.0%), Vibrio (22.7%) and Bacillus (7.6%). Other less bioactive genera were Labrenzia, Acinetobacter, Microbulbifer, Pseudomonas, Gordonia, Microbacterium, Micrococcus and Mycobacterium, Paenibacillus and Staphylococcus. The search of polyketide I synthases (PKS-I) and nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) genes in 59 of the bioactive bacteria suggested the presence of PKS-I in 12 strains, NRPS in 3 strains and both genes in 3 strains. Our results show the potential of the bacterial community associated with Erylus discophorus sponges as producers of bioactive compounds.
Project description:Viruses are among the most abundant and diverse biological components in the marine environment. In finfish, viruses are key drivers of host diversity and population dynamics, and therefore, their effect on the marine environment is far-reaching. Viral encephalopathy and retinopathy (VER) is a disease caused by the marine nervous necrosis virus (NNV), which is recognized as one of the main infectious threats for marine aquaculture worldwide. For over 140 years, the Suez Canal has acted as a conduit for the invasion of Red Sea marine species into the Mediterranean Sea. In 2016-2017, we evaluated the prevalence of NNV in two indigenous Mediterranean species, the round sardinella (<i>Sardinella aurita</i>) and the white steenbras (<i>Lithognathus mormyrus</i>) versus two Lessepsian species, the Randall's threadfin bream (<i>Nemipterus randalli</i>) and the Lessepsian lizardfish (<i>Saurida lessepsianus</i>). A molecular method was used to detect NNV in all four fish species tested. In <i>N. randalli</i>, a relatively newly established invasive species in the Mediterranean Sea, the prevalence was significantly higher than in both indigenous species. In <i>S. lessepsianus</i>, prevalence varied considerably between years. While the factors that influence the effective establishment of invasive species are poorly understood, we suggest that the susceptibility of a given invasive fish species to locally acquired viral pathogens such as NVV may be important, in terms of both its successful establishment in its newly adopted environment and its role as a reservoir 'host' in the new area.
Project description:Historically, marine invertebrates have been a prolific source of unique natural products, with a diverse array of biological activities. Recent studies of invertebrate-associated microbial communities are revealing microorganisms as the true producers of many of these compounds. Inspired by the human microbiome project, which has highlighted the human intestine as a unique microenvironment in terms of microbial diversity, we elected to examine the bacterial communities of fish intestines (which we have termed the fish microbiome) as a new source of microbial and biosynthetic diversity for natural products discovery. To test the hypothesis that the fish microbiome contains microorganisms with unique capacity for biosynthesizing natural products, we examined six species of fish through a combination of dissection and culture-dependent evaluation of intestinal microbial communities. Using isolation media designed to enrich for marine Actinobacteria, we have found three main clades that show taxonomic divergence from known strains, several of which are previously uncultured. Extracts from these strains exhibit a wide range of activities against both gram-positive and gram-negative human pathogens, as well as several fish pathogens. Exploration of one of these extracts has identified the novel bioactive lipid sebastenoic acid as an anti-microbial agent, with activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecium, and Vibrio mimicus.
Project description:A molecular characterization of two Mycobacterium marinum genes, 16S rRNA and hsp65, was carried out with a total of 21 isolates from various species of fish from both marine and freshwater environments of Israel, Europe, and the Far East. The nucleotide sequences of both genes revealed that all M. marinum isolates from fish in Israel belonged to two different strains, one infecting marine (cultured and wild) fish and the other infecting freshwater (cultured) fish. A restriction enzyme map based on the nucleotide sequences of both genes confirmed the divergence of the Israeli marine isolates from the freshwater isolates and differentiated the Israeli isolates from the foreign isolates, with the exception of one of three Greek isolates from marine fish which was identical to the Israeli marine isolates. The second isolate from Greece exhibited a single base alteration in the 16S rRNA sequence, whereas the third isolate was most likely a new Mycobacterium species. Isolates from Denmark and Thailand shared high sequence homology to complete identity with reference strain ATCC 927. Combined analysis of the two gene sequences increased the detection of intraspecific variations and was thus of importance in studying the taxonomy and epidemiology of this aquatic pathogen. Whether the Israeli M. marinum strain infecting marine fish is endemic to the Red Sea and found extremely susceptible hosts in the exotic species imported for aquaculture or rather was accidentally introduced with occasional imports of fingerlings from the Mediterranean Sea could not be determined.
Project description:Despite accumulating evidence on the impact of global climate warming on marine microbes, how increasing seawater temperature influences the marine bacterioplankton communities is elusive. As temperature gradient created by thermal discharges provides a suitable in situ model to study the influence of warming on marine microorganisms, surface seawater were sampled consecutively for one year (September-2016 to August-2017) from the control (unimpacted) and thermal discharge-impacted areas of a coastal power plant, located in India. The bacterioplankton community differences between control (n = 16) and thermal discharge-impacted (n = 26) areas, as investigated using 16S rRNA gene tag sequencing revealed reduced richness and varied community composition at thermal discharge-impacted areas. The relative proportion of Proteobacteria was found to be higher (average ~ 15%) while, Bacteroidetes was lower (average ~ 10%) at thermal discharge-impacted areas. Intriguingly, thermal discharge-impacted areas were overrepresented by several potential pathogenic bacterial genera (e.g. Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Sulfitobacter, Vibrio) and other native marine genera (e.g. Marinobacter, Pseudoalteromonas, Alteromonas, Pseudidiomarina, Halomonas). Further, co-occurrence networks demonstrated that complexity and connectivity of networks were altered in warming condition. Altogether, results indicated that increasing temperature has a profound impact on marine bacterioplankton richness, community composition, and inter-species interactions. Our findings are immensely important in forecasting the consequences of future climate changes especially, ocean warming on marine microbiota.
Project description:Here, 70 potential Vibrio pathogens belonging to nine species, dominated by Vibrio harveyi, were isolated and identified from diseased aquacultured marine fish in South China. Subsequently, the prevalence of 11 virulence genes and the resistance to 15 antibiotics in these strains were determined. Most strains possessed atypical virulence genes in addition to typical virulence genes. Notably, hflk and chiA originating from V. harveyi, and flaC associated with V. anguillarum were detected in more than 40% of atypical host strains. Multidrug resistance was widespread: 64.29% strains were resistant to more than three antibiotics, and the multi-antibiotic resistance index ranged from 0.00 to 0.60. The proportions of strains resistant to the antibiotics vancomycin, amoxicillin, midecamycin, and furazolidone all exceeded 50%; nevertheless, all strains were sensitive to florfenicol, norfloxacin, and ciprofloxacin. Furthermore, both virulence genes and antibiotic resistance were more prevalent in Hainan than in Guangdong, owing to the warmer climate and longer annual farming time in Hainan. These results therefore suggest that warming temperatures and overuse of antibiotics are probably enhancing antibiotic resistance and bacterial infection. This study reveals that pathogenic Vibrio spp. with multi-antibiotic resistance are highly prevalent among marine fish in South China and thus warrant further attention. The results will provide helpful guidance for ecological regulation and local antibiotic use in the control of marine fish farming' Vibrio diseases in South China, facilitating the implementation of national green and healthful aquaculture.
Project description:Coral reefs are an important part of the ocean ecosystem and are a vital spawning ground for marine fish. Microorganisms are abundant in this environment and play a key role in the growth and development of host species. Many studies have investigated the microbial communities of fish with a focus on the intestinal microbiome of laboratory-reared adult fish. Little is known about the relationship between fish eggs and their microorganisms, especially as microbial communities relate to wild fish eggs in coral reefs. In this study, we analyzed the microbial communities of two species of coral fish eggs, Acanthopagrus schlegelii and Halichoeres nigrescens, using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing technology. Pseudomonas, Archromobacter, and Serratia were the main bacterial genera associated with these fish eggs and are known to be bacteria with potentially pathogenic and spoilage effects. The microbial community structures of Acanthopagrus schlegelii and Halichoeres nigrescens eggs were separated based on the 30 most abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) and non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis (NMDS) further confirmed that the microbial communities of coral fish eggs differ by species, which may be due to host selection. A functional prediction of the microbial communities indicated that most of the microbial communities were chemoheterotrophic and involved in nitrogen cycling. Our results showed that the microbial communities of coral fish eggs were distinct by species and that key microorganisms were potentially pathogenic, leading to the spoilage of fish eggs, high mortality, and low incubation rates. This study provided new insights for understanding the relationship between microorganisms and wild fish eggs.
Project description:The marine heatwave of 2016 was one of the longest and hottest thermal anomalies recorded on the Great Barrier Reef, influencing multiple species of marine ectotherms, including coral reef fishes. There is a gap in our understanding of what the physiological consequences of heatwaves in wild fish populations are. Thus, in this study, we used liver transcriptomes to understand the molecular response of five species to the 2016 heatwave conditions. Gene expression was species specific, yet we detected overlap in functional responses associated with thermal stress previously reported in experimental setups. The molecular response was also influenced by the duration of exposure to elevated temperatures. This study highlights the importance of considering the effects of extreme warming events when evaluating the consequences of climate change on fish communities.