Interactions between Rainbow Trout Eyed Eggs and Flavobacterium spp. Using a Bath Challenge Model: Preliminary Evaluation of Bacteriophages as Pathogen Control Agents

Valentina L. Donati*, Inger Dalsgaard, Anniina Runtuvuori-Salmela, Heidi Kunttu, Johanna Jørgensen, Daniel Castillo, Lotta-Riina Sundberg, Mathias Middelboe, Lone Madsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

The microbial community surrounding fish eyed eggs can harbor pathogenic bacteria. In this study we focused on rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) eyed eggs and the potential of bacteriophages against the pathogenic bacteria Flavobacterium psychrophilum and F. columnare. An infection bath method was first established, and the effects of singular phages on fish eggs was assessed (survival of eyed eggs, interaction of phages with eyed eggs). Subsequently, bacteria-challenged eyed eggs were exposed to phages to evaluate their effects in controlling the bacterial population. Culture-based methods were used to enumerate the number of bacteria and/or phages associated with eyed eggs and in the surrounding environment. The results of the study showed that, with our infection model, it was possible to re-isolate F. psychrophilum associated with eyed eggs after the infection procedure, without affecting the survival of the eggs in the short term. However, this was not possible for F. columnare, as this bacterium grows at higher temperatures than the ones recommended for incubation of rainbow trout eyed eggs. Bacteriophages do not appear to negatively affect the survival of rainbow trout eyed eggs and they do not seem to strongly adhere to the surface of eyed eggs either. Finally, the results demonstrated a strong potential for short term (24 h) phage control of F. psychrophilum. However, further studies are needed to explore if phage control can be maintained for a longer period and to further elucidate the mechanisms of interactions between Flavobacteria and their phages in association with fish eggs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number971
JournalMicroorganisms
Volume9
Issue number5
Number of pages31
ISSN2076-2607
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Flavobacterium psychrophilum
  • Flavobacterium columnare
  • Rainbow trout
  • Eyed eggs
  • Phage-mediated control
  • Bacteriophages

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