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Water Chemistry Regulates the Ability of Columnaris Bacteria to Initiate Disease

 From USDA-ARS Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center, Oct 2013 Stuttgart “Fish Tales”

 
Columnaris disease cannot be induced in some research labs in the U.S. and one possible explanation could be the water source.  USDA-ARS scientists at the HKDSNARC, Stuttgart, AR and at the USDA-ARS Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit, Stoneville, MS found dramatic differences in catfish mortality after exposing fish to the columnaris bacteria in well water from the two labs.  Further investigation implicated that bacterial attachment was 2000-fold less in softer waters with tannins.  An additional study manipulated the calcium and tannin concentration in the waters to study their effects on the disease.  The results suggest calcium is a key regulator of bacterial attachment.  The impact of these collaborative research projects is to reveal the mechanisms of bacterial pathogenicity. This greater understanding of the bacteria and its mode of action will lead to further advances in controlling this devastating fish disease.

 

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