Aeromonas hydrophila is a major pathogenic species that causes mass mortality in various freshwater fish species including hybrid tilapia, the main fish species in Israeli aquaculture. Our hypothesis was that A. hydrophila infection may cause changes in the microbiota composition of fish internal organs, and therefore we aimed to study the effect of A. hydrophila infection by injection or by net handling on the microbiota compositions of fish intestine, spleen, and liver. Significant differences in the microbiota composition were found between the internal organs of the diseased and the healthy fish in both experimental setups. Fusobacteriota was the most dominant phylum in the microbiota of healthy fish (∼70%, liver). Cetobacterium was the most abundant genus and relatively more abundant in healthy, compared to diseased fish. When A. hydrophila was inoculated by injection, it was the only pathogenic genus in the spleen and liver of the diseased fish. However, in the handling experiment, Vibrio was also detected in the diseased fish, demonstrating coinfection interactions. Based on these experiments, we conclude that indeed, A. hydrophila infection in tilapia causes changes in the microbiota composition of fish internal organs, and that fish net handling may trigger bacterial infection in freshwater aquaculture.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of FEMS. All rights reserved.
- bacterial infection
- fish handling
- fish internal organs
- hybrid tilapia
- microbiota composition
- pathogenic bacteria
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology