Send to

Choose Destination
Vet Microbiol. 1999 Jul 1;67(4):287-98.

The association of Flavobacterium columnare strains of high and low virulence with gill tissue of black mollies (Poecilia sphenops).

Author information

Laboratory of Veterinary Bacteriology and Mycology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Gent, Merelbeke, Belgium.


The ability of a high virulence strain (AJS 1) and a low virulence strain (AJS 4) of Flavobacterium columnare (Flexibacter columnaris) to attach to the gills of black mollies (Poecilia sphenops) was investigated. For that purpose, two groups of 25 black mollies each were immersed in a bath containing 10(6) CFU/ml of F. columnare AJS 1 or AJS 4. At regular intervals from 1 to 12 h after the contact infection, fish were sacrificed and gills, skin, spleen and heart were sampled for bacteriology. Samples of the gills were taken for immunohistochemical and electron microscopic examination. Bacteriological examination proved that the number of gill-associated F. columnare was higher for AJS 1 than for AJS 4. Strain AJS 1 was isolated from the heart and spleen of 6 and 1 of the 16 examined animals, respectively. Strain AJS 4 was not isolated from the internal organs of any fish. When examined immunohistochemically, strain AJS 1 was found closely associated with gill epithelium whereas this was not the case for strain AJS 4. The adherence of bacteria to the gill tissue challenged with the virulent strain AJS 1 was also clearly demonstrated using scanning and transmission electron microscopy. These results indicate that adhesion of F. columnare to the gill tissue constitutes an important step in pathogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center