Links between host genetics, metabolism, gut microbiome and amoebic gill disease (AGD) in Atlantic Salmon

Schaal, P., Cheaib, B. , Kaufmann, J., Phillips, K., Ryder, L., McGinnity, P. and Llewellyn, M. (2022) Links between host genetics, metabolism, gut microbiome and amoebic gill disease (AGD) in Atlantic Salmon. Animal Microbiome, 4, 53. (doi: 10.1186/s42523-022-00203-x) (PMID:36109797) (PMCID:PMC9479442)

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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.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: PS, JK, KP, ER and PMcG were supported by the Science Foundation Ireland grant award (Grant No. 16/BBSRC/3316). PS was also granted the Covid extension award "Higher Education Authority Covid-19 Cost extension (Call Three). This research was further supported in part by research grants from the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (Grant Nos. BB/ T016280/1, BB/P001203/1, BB/N024028/1) and by the Science Foundation Ireland, the Marine Institute Ireland and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland, under the Investigators Program grant number SFI/15/ IA/3028. JK is currently supported by Science Foundation Ireland/Ireland Research council grant, under the Pathway programme (Grant No. SFI-IRC/21/ PATH-S/9671).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cheaib, Dr Bachar and Llewellyn, Professor Martin and Schaal, Mr Patrick
Authors: Schaal, P., Cheaib, B., Kaufmann, J., Phillips, K., Ryder, L., McGinnity, P., and Llewellyn, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Animal Microbiome
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN (Online):2524-4671
Published Online:15 September 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2022
First Published:First published in Animal Microbiome 4: 53
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
173483A microbial basis for Atlantic Salmon energeticsMartin LlewellynBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/P001203/1LS - Animal Biology
173445RCUK-CONICYT Mucosal health and microbiota during sea lice parasitism: effect of oral delivery of immunomodulantsMartin LlewellynBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/N024028/1LS - Animal Biology