Protocols used for therapeutic thiamine treatments in salmonine early mortality syndrome (EMS) were investigated in lake trout Salvelinus namaycush and coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch to assess their efficacy. At least 500 mg of thiamine HCl/L added to egg baths was required to produce a sustained elevation of thiamine content in lake trout eggs. Thiamine uptake from egg baths was not influenced by a pH ranging from 5.5 to 7.5 or by a water hardness between 2 and 200 mg CaCO3/L. There was poorer thiamine uptake when initial thiamine levels were low, suggesting that current treatment regimes may not be as effective when thiamine levels are severely depressed and that higher treatment doses are necessary. Exposure of eggs to the more lipid-soluble thiamine analog allithiamine (1,000 mg/L) during water hardening increased egg thiamine levels by 1.5-2.5 nmol/g and was completely effective at reversing EMS. Another more lipid-soluble thiamine analog, benfotiamine (100 mg/L), reduced EMS but did not produce detectable increases in egg thiamine content. Although benfotiamine may be more effective than thiamine at mitigating EMS, it is more expensive than thiamine HCl or allithiamine. In addition, there still needs to be a more thorough examination of dose-response relationships. We conclude that allithiamine is an alternative to the use of thiamine in egg baths as a therapeutic treatment for salmonid EMS. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2005.
Additional publication details
Effectiveness of egg immersion in aqueous solutions of thiamine and thiamine analogs for reducing early mortality syndrome