Efficacy of injectable tulathromycin for reduction of vertical transmission of Renibacterium salmoninarum in Spring Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

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Abstract

Bacterial kidney disease (BKD) caused by Renibacterium salmoninarum (Rs) occurs nearly worldwide where wild or cultured salmonid fishes are present. Control of BKD is confounded by its two modes of transmission, horizontal (fish-to-fish) and vertical (from female parent to progeny via the eggs). A highly successful BKD control strategy employed in Pacific Northwest hatcheries culturing spring Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) includes: (1) injecting pre-spawning adults with a macrolide antibiotic to improve survival and reduce Rs infection levels, (2) broodstock culling of highly infected females and (3) improved fish husbandry. However, the future availability of the injectable macrolide antibiotic (erythromycin) used for adults is uncertain. This drug shortage has resulted in an urgent need to identify a replacement injectable antibiotic to ensure continued successful control of BKD. The research conducted was intended to provide information for addressing this need via preliminary tests of the safety and efficacy of a new macrolide antibiotic, injectable tulathromycin, which is sold under the trade name DRAXXIN® (Zoetis Animal Health). A long-term goal is to reduce or eliminate the use of antibiotic treatment in spring Chinook salmon hatchery culture. Non-treated females were included in the study to provide empirical data in support of this goal. A subset of pre-spawning spring Chinook salmon at Leavenworth NFH was injected on July 10, 2014 with DRAXXIN at 5 mg per kg body weight (31 fish, left pelvic fin clip). Another subset of females (30 fish, right pelvic fin clip) was left uninjected. The surviving fish (31 DRAXXIN-injected fish and 28 uninjected fish) were spawned between August 18 and September 2, 2014. Although there were apparent trends toward higher pre-spawn survival and lower Rs prevalence and levels for the DRAXXIN-injected females in comparison to the uninjected females, the differences were not statistically significant for any of the Rs assays used (P > 0.05). Based on USFWS enzyme-linked immnosorbent assay (ELISA) test results of kidney tissue samples from the spawning females, egg lots from DRAXXIN-injected and uninjected females were assigned to Rs vertical transmission risk groups (low, medium or high). A subset of 220 eyed eggs from each female was transferred to the Western Fisheries Research Center (USGS) on October 8, 2014, hatched and reared until the study was terminated on September 22, 2015. The study results provided no evidence that DRAXXIN injection of adult female Chinook salmon affected their fecundity, egg eye-up, or survival and growth of progeny fry. There was little evidence of Rs infection in progeny of either DRAXXIN-injected or uninjected females, so the effect of DRAXXIN injection on vertical transmission of Rs could not be assessed. To adequately evaluate the efficacy of DRAXXIN injection for reducing Rs vertical transmission to progeny, additional studies should be conducted with larger numbers of DRAXXIN-injected and uninjected Chinook salmon females with a greater range of Rs levels.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Other Government Series
Title Efficacy of injectable tulathromycin for reduction of vertical transmission of Renibacterium salmoninarum in Spring Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Contributing office(s) Western Fisheries Research Center
Description 28 p.
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