Flavobacterium psychrophilum and oxytetracycline have both been associated with spinal deformities in salmonids. Experiments were carried out to investigate whether infection with F, psychrophilum or medication with oxytetracycline (OTC) at the fry stage would result in an increased occurrence of vertebral column deformities in rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum). Fish were on-grown for 9 months and examined by radiology at the end of the experiments. There was a relationship between infection by F. psychrophilum and deformities of the spinel column, if fish with more than 10 affected vertebrae were classified as deformed. The deformities found among infected fish were often visible externally and were more severe than those seen among control fish (most deformities foun among controls were only seen on X-ray photographs). Deformities were evenly spread along the vertebral column of infected fish. OTC treatments of up to 200 mg of OTC(kgfish)(-1) day(-1) for 10 days and repeated three times did not result in increased spinal deformities relative to untreated control groups; therefore, medication of rainbow trout with oxytetracycline did not cause deformities of the spinal column under our treatment conditions.
|Publication status||Published - 2001|