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Effect of Copper Sulfate on Aeromonas hydrophila Infection in Channel Catfish Fingerlings

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Motile Aeromonas septicemia results from primary or secondary infection with bacteria from Aeromonas spp., including Aeromonas hydrophila . Since 2009, an emerging strain of A. hydrophila has been associated, as a primary pathogen, with significant morbidity and mortality in the U.S. catfish industry. Two 2 × 2 factorial experiments with five replicates were conducted to evaluate whether copper sulfate pentahydrate (CuSO ₄) at a concentration of 1% of total alkalinity (total alkalinity = 98 mg/L as CaCO ₃; total hardness = 60 mg/L as CaCO ₃; pH = 7.4) can reduce mortality of channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus after their exposure to this emerging strain of A. hydrophila . In experiment 1, fingerling channel catfish received an 18-h continuous bath exposure to CuSO ₄ after A. hydrophila challenge. Survival in the treatments challenged with A. hydrophila , both when exposed or unexposed to CuSO ₄, was significantly lower than survival in sham-exposed controls. Fish exposed to A. hydrophila and treated with copper sulfate had the lowest percent survival, at 18% (SE, 7.0), and survival was significantly different from the treatment in which fish were exposed to A. hydrophila but not treated with copper sulfate. In experiment 2, fish received a 4-h pretreatment with CuSO ₄ before exposure to A. hydrophila plus a 4-h treatment the next day. In experiment 2, when fish were exposed to A. hydrophila but not CuSO ₄, survival was 80.0% (SE, 5.5). For fish exposed to A. hydrophila and to CuSO ₄, survival was 50.0% (SE, 3.2). The percent mortality in the treatment exposed to A. hydrophila and to CuSO ₄ was signficantly different from all of the other treatments. This study demonstrated that, under these experimental conditions, CuSO ₄ application reduced survival when used as a treatment for infection of fingerling channel catfish with this strain of A. hydrophila . Received September 30, 2011; accepted April 9, 2012
Julie Bebak , Julio C. Garcia , Ahmed Darwish
USDA Scientist Submission
North American Journal of Aquaculture 2012 10 1 October 2012 v.74 no.4
Taylor & Francis Group
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed