Antagonistic effect of indigenous skin bacteria of brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis) against Flavobacterium columnare and F. psychrophilum.

Sébastien Boutin, Louis Bernatchez, Céline Audet, Nicolas Derôme


Industrial fish production exposes fish to potentially stressful conditions, which in turn may induce infections by opportunistic pathogens. Probiotics appear to be a promising way to prevent opportunistic infections in aquaculture. In this study, we tested the inhibitory potential of endogenous bacterial communities found in the mucus of brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis) against two major pathogens Flavobacterium columnare and Flavobacterium psychrophilum. Nine bacterial strains were isolated from brook charr skin mucus and tested for potential antagonistic activity. Results from both agar diffusion assays and broth co-culture assays showed the presence of antagonism. We identified seven bacterial strains, collected from unstressed fish, which exerted strong antagonism against F. psychrophilum and/or F. columnare. These strains were mixed and used to treat columnaris disease in an in vivo experiment in which four distinct fish families were tested. This treatment resulted in a decrease of mortality (54-86 across fish families indicating that candidates from the host microbiota are potentially suitable for probiotic development. This would allow for the efficient (ability to adhere and colonize the host mucus) and durable management (antagonistic effect against pathogens which would be harmless for the host and safe for its environment) of opportunistic diseases in aquaculture.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2012
Externally publishedYes

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