Overview of a disease outbreak and introduction of a step-by step protocol for the eradication of Mycobacterium haemophilum in a zebrafish system

Rácz, A., Dwyer, T. and Killen, S. S. (2019) Overview of a disease outbreak and introduction of a step-by step protocol for the eradication of Mycobacterium haemophilum in a zebrafish system. Zebrafish, 16(1), pp. 77-86. (doi: 10.1089/zeb.2018.1628) (PMID:30358522) (PMCID:PMC6357262)

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In 2017, the zebrafish unit at University of Glasgow experienced a detrimental outbreak of pathogenic bacterium, Mycobacterium haemophilum. The presence of other bacterial species was also confirmed by bacteriology growth in the same unit. The affected individuals composed of a wild-origin parental population sourced from India and their F1 offspring generation. Bacteria were diagnostically confirmed to be present systemically in fish and within the water and biofilm of the recirculating zebrafish system. In the absence of a publicly accessible step-by-step disinfectant protocol for these difficult-to-eliminate pathogens, we devised a successful procedure to eradicate mycobacteria and Aeromonas species after colony removal using Cleanline Chlorine tablets (active ingredient Sodium dichloroisocyanurate) and Virkon Aquatic. Postdisinfection diagnostics did not detect pathogens in the system or in the new fish inhabiting the system that were tested. Newly established fish colonies have not shown similar clinical signs or disease-induced mortality in the 1-year period following system disinfection and repopulation. We present a historical background of the bacterial outbreak and a disinfection method which can be replicated in other zebrafish facilities—at small or large scales—for reliable mycobacterium removal. This procedure can be implemented as a disinfection protocol before the introduction of a new fish population to a previously contaminated system.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Killen, Professor Shaun and Dwyer, Ms Toni and Racz, Miss Anita
Authors: Rácz, A., Dwyer, T., and Killen, S. S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Zebrafish
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
ISSN (Online):1557-8542
Published Online:24 October 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Anita Rácz et al.
First Published:First published in Zebrafish 16(1): 77-86
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
594261The Influence of Individual Physiology on Group Behaviour in Fish SchoolsShaun KillenNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/J019100/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED