Tenacibaculosis in Fish – Gross Pathology

Figure 1. Rainbow trout displaying tail and peduncle lesions.

Tenacibaculosis is primarily a skin infection causing ulcerative dermatitis in a range of commercially important species worldwide. Three species belonging to the genus Tenacibaculum have been associated with the disease: T. dicentrarchi, T. finnmarkense, and T. maritimum.   These bacteria are all Gram-negative and filamentous.  In marine fish, the most common isolate is T. maritimum. There is variation in the external pathological signs of the disease, depending on the species and age of the fish involved. Different names have been used for this usually ulcerative dermatitis; they include salt water columnaris...

Flavobacterium psychrophilum in salmonids – Gross Pathology

Figure 2. F. psychrophilum infection in rainbow trout. Note the classical “peduncle disease” with necrosis and darkening of tissues distal to the anal fin.

Flavobacterium psychrophilum is a ubiquitous Gram-negative filamentous and yellow-pigmented bacterium, and as the name suggests, it thrives in cooler water temperatures, causing disease in freshwater fish at 4-12°C. It likes connective tissues, especially those in younger fish in which it causes diseases such as bacterial cold-water disease (BCWD or peduncle disease) and rainbow trout fry syndrome (RTFS). As fish get older and the proportions/chemistry/locations of connective tissue change, the types of lesions also change. F. psychrophilum is responsible for significant economic losses in salmonid aquaculture...

Bacterial gill disease – Gross Pathology

This rainbow trout fingerling with BGD shows the typical flared opercula of respiratory distress. Note that the edge of the flared operculum is eroded. This erosion is typical of intensively-reared fish; its cause is unknown, but might be the result of higher-than-optimal bacterial enzymes in and around the branchial cavity. Whatever the cause, the consequence is a huge reduction in the ability of the animal to pump water due to elimination of the water-tight seal between the trailing edge of the operculum and the body of the fish (the cleithrum). Thus the negative pressure of the opercular pump is greatly reduced. And this in an animal that is trying to pump larger-than-normal volumes of water over its gills due to the hypoxaemia of BGD!

Bacterial gill disease (BGD) occurs in several species, but it is an especially serious problem of intensive salmonid culture, and in some parts of the world it is the most common disease, especially in fry and fingerlings. BGD is characterized by explosive morbidity and mortality rates, attributable to bacterial colonization of gill surfaces. Despite such pronounced clinical signs and high mortality, pathological changes are surprisingly few and hard to find in the acute disease. It is only when (if) the fish survive for a few...