From the mid-1980s through the early 1990s, outbreaks of bacterial kidney disease (BKD) caused by Renibacterium salmoninarum continued in Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) hatcheries despite the use of three control methods: (1) injection of returning adult fish with erythromycin to reduce prespawning BKD mortality and limit vertical transmission of R. salmoninarum, (2) topical disinfection of green eggs with iodophor, and (3) prophylactic treatments of juvenile fish with erythromycin-medicated feed. In addition, programs to manage BKD through measurement of R. salmoninarum antigen levels in kidney tissues from spawning female Chinook salmon by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were tested over 13–15 brood years at three IDFG hatcheries. The ELISA results were used for either (1) segregated rearing of progeny from females with high ELISA optical density (OD) values (usually ≥0.25), which are indicative of high R. salmoninarum antigen levels, or (2) culling of eggs from females with high ELISA OD values. The ELISA-based culling program had the most profound positive effects on the study populations. Mortality of juvenile fish during rearing was significantly lower at each hatchery for brood years derived from culling compared with brood years for which culling was not practiced. The prevalence of R. salmoninarum in juvenile fish, as evidenced by detection of the bacterium in kidney smears by the direct fluorescent antibody test, also decreased significantly at each hatchery. In addition, the proportions of returning adult females with kidney ELISA OD values of 0.25 or more decreased 56–85% for fish reared in brood years during which culling was practiced, whereas the proportions of ELISA-negative adults increased 55–58%. This management strategy may allow IDFG Chinook salmon hatcheries to reduce or eliminate prophylactic erythromycin-medicated feed treatments. We recommend using ELISA-based management of BKD in Chinook salmon hatcheries where it is a concern.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Management of bacterial kidney disease in Chinook Salmon hatcheries based on broodstock testing by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay: A multiyear study|
|Series title||North American Journal of Fisheries Management|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Contributing office(s)||Western Fisheries Research Center|