Mass mortality in ornamental fish, Cyprinus carpio koi caused by a bacterial pathogen, Proteus hauseri

Raj Kumar, T Raja Swaminathan, Rahul G Kumar, Arathi Dharmaratnam, V S Basheer, J K Jena
Acta Tropica 2015, 149: 128-34
Moribund koi carp, Cyprinus carpio koi, from a farm with 50% cumulative mortality were sampled with the aim of isolating and detecting the causative agent. Three bacterial species viz., Citrobacter freundii (NSCF-1), Klebsiella pneumoniae (NSKP-1) and Proteus hauseri [genomospecies 3 of Proteus vulgaris Bio group 3] (NSPH-1) were isolated, identified and characterized on the basis of biochemical tests and sequencing of the 16S rDNA gene using universal bacterial primers. Challenge experiments with these isolates using healthy koi carp showed that P. hauseri induced identical clinical and pathological states within 3 d of intramuscular injection. The results suggest P. hauseri (NSPH-1) was the causative agent. In phylogenetic analysis, strain NSPH-1 formed a distinct cluster with other P. hauseri reference strains with ≥99% sequence similarity. P. hauseri isolates were found sensitive to Ampicillin, Cefalexin, Ciprofloxacin and Cefixime and resistant to Gentamycin, Oxytetracycline, Chloramphenicol, and Kanamycin. The affected fish recovered from the infection after ciprofloxacin treatment.

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