Developments in the control of bacterial kidney disease of salmonid fishes

Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
By: , and 



Bacterial kidney disease of salmonid fishes, caused by Renibactenum salrnoninarum, was first reported more than 50 yr ago; nevertheless, large gaps persist in our knowledge of the infection - particularly in methods for its control. In the 1950's, principal control measures consisted of prophylactic or therapeutic feeding of sulfonamides, which were later supplanted by the antibiotic erythromycin. Chemotherapy has effected some reduction of mortality, but benefits are typically transient and mortality usually resumes after the drug is withdrawn. Some studies have indicated that diet composition affects the prevalence and severity of the disease. Although tests of chemotherapeutants and diet modification have continued, research emphasis has shifted partly toward prevention of the disease by breaking the infection cycle. It is now generally accepted that R. salrnoninarum can be transmitted both vertically and horizontally. Experimental evidence indicates that immersion of newly fertilized eggs in iodophor or erythromycin does not prevent vertical transmission. However, the injection of female salmon with erythromycin before they spawn shows promise as a practical means of interrupting vertical transmission. The results of attempts to prevent infection of juvenile salmonids by vaccination against bacterial kidney disease have been disappointing, thus underscoring a basic need for a better understanding of protective mechanisms in salmonids. The recent development of more sensitive and quantitative detection methods should aid in evaluating the efficacy of current and future control strategies.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Developments in the control of bacterial kidney disease of salmonid fishes
Series title Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
Volume 6
Issue 3
Year Published 1989
Language English
Publisher Inter-Research
Contributing office(s) Leetown Science Center, Western Fisheries Research Center
Description 15 p.
First page 201
Last page 215
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