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High Genetic Diversity in Flavobacterium psychrophilum Isolates from Healthy Rainbow Trout ( Oncorhynchus mykiss ) Farmed in the Same Watershed, Revealed by Two Typing Methods

Abstract : Flavobacterium psychrophilum affects salmonid health worldwide and causes economic losses. The genetic diversity of the pathogen must be considered to develop control methods. However, previous studies have reported both high and low levels of genetic diversity. The present longitudinal study aimed at assessing the genetic diversity of F. psychrophilum at a small temporal and geographic scale. Four farms located on the same watershed in France were studied. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) batches were monitored, and apparently healthy individuals were sampled over 1 year. A total of 288 isolates were recovered from fish organs (gills and spleen) and eggs. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis revealed high genetic diversity. Multilocus sequence typing performed on a selection of 31 isolates provided congruent results, as follows: 18 sequence types (STs) were found, of which 13 were novel. The mean gene diversity (H = 0.8413) was much higher than that previously reported for this host species, although the sampling was restricted to a single watershed and 1 year. Seven isolates out of 31 were assigned to clonal complex ST10 (CC-ST10), which is the predominant clonal complex in the main salmonid production areas. A split decomposition tree reflected a panmictic population. This finding is important for aquaculture veterinarians in their diagnostic procedure, as the choice of adequate antibiotic treatment is conditioned by the correct identification of the causative agent. Furthermore, this study expands our knowledge on genetic diversity required for the development of an effective vaccine against F. psychrophilum. IMPORTANCE The bacterium Flavobacterium psychrophilum is a serious pathogen in many fish species, especially salmonids, that is responsible for considerable economic losses worldwide. In order to treat infections and to develop vaccines, the genetic diversity of this bacterium needs to be known. We assessed the genetic diversity of F. psychrophilum isolates from apparently healthy rainbow trout raised in several fish farms in the same watershed in France. Two different genotyping methods revealed high diversity. The majority of isolates were unrelated to clonal complex sequence type 10 (CC-ST10), the clonal complex that is predominant worldwide and associated with disease in rainbow trout. In addition, we found 13 novel sequence types. These results suggest that a diverse subpopulation of F. psychrophilum may be harbored by rainbow trout.
Keywords : MLST PFGE Aquaculture mPCR
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03131137
Contributor : Michel Leroux <>
Submitted on : Thursday, February 4, 2021 - 10:21:39 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 10:53:38 AM

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Ségolène Calvez, Nora Navarro-Gonzalez, Charlène Siekoula-Nguedia, Catherine Fournel, Eric Duchaud. High Genetic Diversity in Flavobacterium psychrophilum Isolates from Healthy Rainbow Trout ( Oncorhynchus mykiss ) Farmed in the Same Watershed, Revealed by Two Typing Methods. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology, 2021, 87 (2), pp.e01398-20. ⟨10.1128/AEM.01398-20⟩. ⟨hal-03131137⟩

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