Application of pharmacological doses of the corticosteroid dexamethasone phosphate to starry flounder Platichthys stellatus resulted in a predisposition to clinical ichthyophoniasis and a progression from latent Ichthyophonus infections to patent, histologically identifiable infections. Among Ichthyophonus-challenged starry flounder, the prevalences of clinical infections and histologically identifiable infections were significantly greater in two groups that received dexamethasone (100% and 31%, respectively) than in the respective control groups (8% and 0%). Proliferation of Ichthyophonus infections in corticosteroid-treated groups may have resulted from suppression of the cellular immune response that typically follows corticosteroid application; however, further studies are needed to determine whether these effects occur at lower, physiological concentrations of corticosteroids.
Additional publication details
High doses of corticosteroid suppress resistance to Ichthyophonus in starry flounder