Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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Schaal, P;Cheaib, B;Kaufmann, J;Phillips, K;Ryder, L;McGinnity, P;Llewellyn, M
2022
September
Animal Microbiome
Links between host genetics, metabolism, gut microbiome and amoebic gill disease (AGD) in Atlantic salmon
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AEROBIC SCOPE BROWN TROUT INDIVIDUAL VARIATION SALAR IMPACT WILD TEMPERATURE PERFORMANCE DIVERSITY HYPOXIA
4
Background Rapidly spreading parasitic infections like amoebic gill disease (AGD) are increasingly problematic for Atlantic salmon reared in aquaculture facilities and potentially pose a risk to wild fish species in surrounding waters. Currently, it is not known whether susceptibility to AGD differs between wild and farmed salmon. Wild Atlantic salmon populations are declining and this emerging disease could represent an additional threat to their long-term viability. A better understanding of how AGD affects fish health is therefore relevant for the accurate assessment of the associated risk, both to farming and to the well-being of wild populations. In this study, we assessed the impact of natural exposure to AGD on wild, hybrid and farmed post-smolt Atlantic salmon reared in a sea farm together under common garden conditions. Results Wild fish showed substantially higher mortality levels (64%) than farmed fish (25%), with intermediate levels for hybrid fish (39%) suggesting that AGD susceptibility has an additive genetic basis. Metabolic rate measures representing physiological performance were similar among the genetic groups but were significantly lower in AGD-symptomatic fish than healthy fish. Gut microbial diversity was significantly lower in infected fish. We observed major shifts in gut microbial community composition in response to AGD infections. In symptomatic fish the relative abundance of key taxa Aliivibrio, Marinomonas and Pseudoalteromonas declined, whereas the abundance of Polaribacter and Vibrio increased compared to healthy fish. Conclusions Our results highlight the stress AGD imposes on fish physiology and suggest that low metabolic-rate fish phenotypes may be associated with better infection outcomes. We consider the role increased AGD outbreak events and a warmer future may have in driving secondary bacterial infections and in reducing performance in farmed and wild fish.
LONDON
2524-4671
10.1186/s42523-022-00203-x
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