Aeromonas salmonicida, the etiological agent of furunculosis, causes severe losses in cultured fish in many parts of the world. Furunculosis has now been recorded in most fish farms on the western coast of Norway, where outbreaks result in the highest mortalities experienced on the farms.
The survival potential of Aeromonas salmonicida in water has been thoroughly investigated. The bacterium has never been isolated from any environmental sources but it has been detected in high numbers by application of immunofluorescence in samples from sediments, seawater, and surface films from fish farms stocked with salmon suffering from furunculosis.
Although fish have been regarded as the main vector in the transmission of furunculosis, ectoparasites may also serve as vectors because they have been shown to be likely vectors in the transfer of viral diseases. Salmon lice may therefore be important in introducing pathogens such as Aeromonas salmonicida into fish farms.
- Austin, B. (1987). Bacterial fish pathogens. Ellis Horwood Ltd, Chichester, p. 111-195
- McCarthy, D H. (1977). Some ecological aspects of the bacterial fish pathogen Aeromonas salmonicida. Aquat Microbiol 6:299-324