Vibrio species as agents of elasmobranch disease

Research paper by D. J. Grimes, R. R. Colwell, J. Stemmler, H. Hada, D. Maneval, F. M. Hetrick, E. B. May, R. T. Jones, M. Stoskopf

Indexed on: 01 Mar '84Published on: 01 Mar '84Published in: Helgoland Marine Research


TwoVibrio species identified asV. damsela and a new sucrose-positiveVibrio sp.,V. carchariae sp. nov., were simultaneously isolated from a brown shark which died while being held in captivity at a large aquarium. Pathogenicity studies were subsequently conducted using a variety of elasmobranchs, including smooth dogfish and lemon sharks. Both bacterial strains proved pathogenic, causing death in nearly all of the elasmobranch hosts challenged. Virulence studies revealed that both bacterial strains were cytotoxic for Y-1 mouse adrenal cells. TheV. damsela strain was highly cytotoxic causing Y-1 cellular damage at culture supernatant dilutions up to 1 : 128. Both strains were hemolytic, but neither exhibited the Kanagawa phenomenon. They were both capable of urea hydrolysis, an interesting trait, considering that elasmobranchs retain large (ca 300 milliosmolal) urea concentration in their tissue.