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Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1992 Jan;42(1):120-6.

Piscirickettsia salmonis gen. nov., sp. nov., the causative agent of an epizootic disease in salmonid fishes.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331-3804.


A novel intracellular pathogen morphologically similar to the ehrlichiae has been isolated in cell culture and identified as the cause of an epizootic disease of salmonid fish. Like the ehrlichiae, the salmonid pathogen, designated strain LF-89, replicates within membrane-bound cytoplasmic vacuoles in host cells. This agent is the first with characteristics of this type to be isolated from a fish. Analysis of the LF-89 16S rRNA indicated that, unlike the ehrlichiae, LF-89 is a gamma proteobacterium distantly related to Coxiella burnetii and perhaps Wolbachia persica. A new genus and species (Piscirickettsia salmonis gen. nov., sp. nov.) are proposed for this organism, with ATCC(R) VR 1361 as the type strain.

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