Streptococcal infections of farmed fish

Published: Dec 6, 2017
Streptococcus Enterococcus infections cultured fish.

The genus Streptococcus is large and complex, accommodating a wide range of Gram positive bacteria. Only a few biotypes have been isolated from fish and the most pathogenic are those belonging to D serogroup, otherwise known as the Enterococci. Streptococcal septicaemia was first among cultured rainbow trout (Onchorynchus mykiss) in Japan in 1958. Since then, the disease has appeared sporadically or in epizootics among cultured or wild fish both in freshwater and marine environments all over the world. Among the freshwater species infected, rainbow trout (Onchorynchus mykiss) and tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) are the most important species. Clinical signs vary among species of affected fish. The most common symptoms are loss of appetite, erratic swimming, darkening of body colour, eye lesions, external haemorrhagic lesions and ulcerations. The standard system for identification is based on the antigenicity of the carbohydrate moiety of the cell wall, according to a scheme devised by Lancefìeld in the 1930's. The American freshwater isolates obtained by Robinson & Meyer (1966), Plumb et al. (1974), Rasheed & Plumb (1984) were all typed Lancefield's group Β serotype in contrast to almost all of the much more frequent isolates from marine fish, which are usually untypable Enter ο co ecus-like strains. The Streptococcus strains isolated from yellowtail (Seriola sp), ayu (Plecoglosus altivelis) and flounder (Rhombosolea. sp) have similar biochemical reactions to Streptococcus iniae, a species isolated from dolphins by Pier & Madin (1976), which is defined in Bergey's Manual as a separate species. Kusuda et al.(1991) have analysed numerous strains from yellowtail infections in mariculture and in eels and have concluded, on the basis of DNA/DNA hybridization studies and biochemistry that a specific condition, caused by such streptococci, exists and that these bacteria were closest to Enterococci in characteristics and that infectious coccosis of marine fish, as seen in Japan, should be called "Enterococcal infection". Enterococci released from diseased fish seem to be the main source of infection. It has been shown that these bacteria remain in seawater and particularly in the mud around farms for a long time. Higher numbers of microorganisms exist in the seawater during summer months in contrast to the winter months when the bacterial load is higher in the mud (Kitao et al. 1979). Ghittino & Prearo (1992) have shown that in freshwater fish the outbreak of the disease was related to an organic pollution of the rivers supplying fish farms, associated with high water temperature (21-22°C). Wild fish can also be infected and spread the bacteria. It is generally believed that the infection is horizontal with infection occurring from direct contact with infected fish or contaminated fish food (Robinson & Meyer, 1996). The mechanisms of enterococcal infections pathogenicity are not yet fully understood.

Article Details
  • Section
  • Review Articles
Download data is not yet available.
Akhlaghi M, Munday BL, Whittington RJ (1996) Comparison of passive and active immunization of fish against streptococcosis. Journal of Fish Diseases 19:251-258.
Alim SR, Kawai K, Kusuda R (1996) Comparative pathogenicity study on antigenically variant stains of Enterococcus seriolocida. Journal of Fish Diseases 21: 234-245.
Alharbi, AH (1994) First isolation of Streptococcus sp from hybrid Tilapia in Saudi-Arabia. Aquaculture 128:195-201.
Athanassopoulou F, Prapas T, Rodger H (1999) Diseases oîPuntazzo puntazzo Gmelin in marine aquaculture systems in Greece and field trials of treatment of Myxidium leei n.sp. Journal of Fish Diseases 22: 215-218
Austin B, Baudet E, Stobie M ( 1992) Inhibitation of bacterial fish pathogens by Tetraselmis suecica. Journal of Fish Diseases 15:55-61.
Bates J (1997) Epidimiology of vancomycin- resistant Enterococci in the community and the relevance of farm animals to human infection. Journal of Hospital Infection 37:89-101.
Baya AM, Lupiana B, Hetrick FM, Robertson BS, Luckacovic R, Poukish C (1990) Association of Streptococcus with fish mortalities in Cheasapeak Bay and its tributaries. Journal of Fish Diseases 13:251-253.
Bercovier H, Ghittino C, Eldar A (1997) Immunization with bacterial antigens: infections with streptococci and related organisms. Developments in Biological Standardization 90:153-160.
Bunch EC, Bejerano I (1997) The effect of environmental factors onthe susceptibility of hybrid tilapia to streptococcosis. Israel Journal of Aquaculture- Bamidgeh 49, 2: 67-76.
Cars O, Forsum V, Hjelm E (1975) New immunofluorescence method for identification of Group A,B,C,D,E,F and G streptococci. Acta Pathologica Microbiologica Scandinavica Series B, 83: 145-152.
Carson J, Statham Ρ (1993) The inhibitation by iodophores in vitro of an enterococcus-like pathogen of rainbow trout. Veterinary Microbiology 36:253-259.
Carson J, Judkows N, Austin Β (1993). Characteristics of an Enterococcus -like bacterium from Australia and South Africa, pathogenic to rainbow trout. Journal of Fish Diseases 16:381-388.
Christensen P, Kahlmeter G, Jonsso S, Kronvalli G (1973) New method for the serological grouping of streptococci with specific antibodies absorbed to protein A- containing staphylococci. Infection and Immunity 7:881-885.
Chang PH, Plumb JA (1996) Histopathology of experimental Streptococcus sp infection in Tilapia and channel catfish. Journal of Fish Diseases 19:235-241.
Cook DW, Lofton SR (1975) Pathogenicity studies with a streptococcus sp isolated from fishes in an Alabama- Florida fish kill. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 104:286-288.
Dajani AS (1973) Rapid identification of beta haemolytic streptococci by counter-immunoelectrophoresis . Journal of Immunology 110:1702-1705.
Domenech A, Fernandez- Garayzabal JF, Pascual C, Garcia JA, Cutuli MT, Moreno MA, Collins Dominguez L (1996) Streptococcosis in cultured turbot Scopthalmus maximus L
associated with Streptococcusparauberìs. Journal of Fish Diseases 19, l,:33-39.
Eldar A, Bejerano Y, Becovier H (1994) Streptococcus shiloi and streptococcus difficile- 2 new streptococcal species causing a meningoencephalitis in fish. Current Microbiology 28:139-143.
Eldar A, Frelier PF, Assenta L, Varner PW, Lawhon S, Bercovier H (1995a) Streptococcus shiloi the name for an agent causing septicaemic infection in fish, is a junior synonym of Streptococcus iniae. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology 45:840-842.
Eldar H, Sharpino O, Bejerano Y, Bercovier H (1995b) Vaccination with whole cell vaccine and bacterial protein extract protects tilapia against Streptococcus diffidile meningoencephalitis. Vaccine 13:867-870.
Eldar A, Ghittino C, Assenta L, Bozzettta E, Goria M, Prearo M, Bercovier H (1996) Enterococcus seriolicida is a jounior synonym of Lactobacillus garvieae, a causative agent of septicaemia and meningoencephalitis in fish. Current Microbiology 32:85-88.
Eldar, A, Horovitz A, Bercovier H (1997) Development and efficacy of a vaccine against Streptococcus iniae infection in farmed rainbow trout. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 56:175-183.,
Evans JJ, Klesius PH, Gilbert PM, Shoemaker CA, Sarawi MA, Landsberg J, Duremdez R, Marjouk A, Zenki SA (2002) Characterization of b haemolytic Group Β Streptococcus agalactiae in cultured sea bream Spams aurata L., and wild mullet Liza klunzingeri (Day) in Kuweit. Journal of Fish Diseases 25:505-509
Ferguson HW, Morales JA, Ostland VE (1994) Streptococcosis in aquarium fish. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 19:1-6.
Foo JTW, Ho B, Lam TJ (1985) Mass mortality in Siganus canaliculars due to streptococcal infection. Aquaculture 45:185-195.
Fukuda Y, Maita M, Saton K, Okamoto Ν (1997a) Influence of dissolved oxygen concentration on the mortality of yellowtail infected with Entercococcus serìolocida. Fish Pathology 32:129-130.
Fukuda Y, Maita M, Saton K, Yamamoto Η, Okamoto Ν, Ikeda Y (1997b) Effects of dissolved oxygen concentration on experimental horizontal transmission of induced by artificial infection with Entercococcus serìolocida in yellowtail. Fish Pathology 32:43-49.
Fuller AT (1938) The formamide method from the extraction of polysaccharides from haemolytic streptococci. British Journal of Experimental Pathology 19:130-139.
Ghittino P, Prearo M (1992) Report of streptococciosis in rainbow trout in Italy: Preliminary note. Bolletini di Società Italiana Patologia Ittica 8:4-9.
Ghittino P, Prearo M, Bozzetta E, Eldar H (1995) Pathogenetical characterization of the causative agent of fish streptococcosis in Italy and vaccination trials in rainbow trout. Bolletini di Società Italiana Patologia Ittica 7:2-12.
Hardie JM (1986) Genus Streptococcus Rosenbach 1884. In: Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, Vol.2. Ed. P.H.A Sneath, pp.: 1043-1071, Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore.
Hoshina T, Sano Τ , Marimoto Y (1958). A streptococcus pathogen to fish. Journal of the Tokyo University of Fisheries 44: 57-68.
Iida T, Wakabayashi H, Egusa S (1982) Vaccination for streptococcal control in cultured yellowtail. Fish Pathology 16:201-206.
Iida T, Furukawa K, Sakai M, Wakabayashi H (1986) Non haemolytic Streptococcus isolated from the brain of the vertebral deformed yellowtail. Fish Pathology 21:33-38.
Inglis, V, Roberts, R.J., Bromage, N.R. (1993). In: Bacterial Diseases of Fish, Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, pp 312.
Itami T, Kondo M, Uozo M, Suganuma A, Abe T, Kakagawa A, Suzuki N, Takahashi Y (1996) Enhancement of resistance against Enterococcus seriolicida infection in yellowtail, Seriola quinqueradiata by oral administration of peptidoglycan derived from Bifidobacterium thermophilum. Journal of Fish Diseases 19, 2:185-187.
Jo Y (1982) Streptococcal infections of cultured freshwater fish. Fish Pathology 17: 33-37.
Kaige N, Miyazaki T, Kubota S (1984) The pathogen and histopathology of vertebral deformity in cultured yellowtail. Fish Pathology, 19:173-179.
Katae H, Kouno K, Shimizu M, Kusada R, Taniguchi M, Shiomitsou K, Hasegawa H (1980) Studies on chemotherapy offish disease with erythromycin. Fish Pathology 22:77-85.
Kawahara E, Nelson JS, Kusuda R (1986) Fluorescent antibody technique compared to standard media culture for detection of pathogenic bacteria for yellowtail and amberjack. Fish Pathology 21:39-45.
Kawahara E, Kusuda R (1987) Direct immunofluorescent antibody technique for differentiation between alpha and beta haemolytic Streptococcus species. Fish Pathology 15:7-16.
Kimura H, Kusuda R(1979) Studies on the pathogenesis of streptococcal infection of cultured yellowtail Serìola sp.: effect of crude exotoxin fraction from cell free culture on experimental streptococcal infection. Journal of Fish Diseases, 2:501-510.
Kitao T, Aoki Τ (1979) Therapeutic studies of doxycycline of streptococcosis of cultured yellowtail. Bulletin of Faculty of Agriculture, Miyazaki University, 26:357-63.
Kitao T, Aoki T, Iwata Κ (1979) Epidemiological study of streptococcosis of cultured yellowtail Serìola sp. 1. Distribution in seawater and muds around yellowtail farms. Bulletin of the Japanese Society for Scientific Fisheries 45:567-572.
Kitao T, Aoki T, Sakoh R (1981) Epizootic caused by b- haemolytic Streptococcus species in cultured freshwater fish. Fish Pathology 15, 301-7 Fish Pathology 21:39-45.
Kitao Τ (1982) The methods for detection of Streptococcus sp, causative bacteria of streptococcal disease of cultured yellowtails. Fish Pathology 17: 17-26.
Kitao Τ (1983) Stain variation associated with pathogenesis of Streptococcus sp. the causative agent of streptococciosis in cultured yellowtail. Proceedings of the second Northwest Aquaculture Symposium, Tokai University, Tokyo, 231-242
Kitao, T. (1993). Streptococcal infections. In: Bacterial disease offish, Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, pp.312.
Kitao T, Iwata K, Ohta H (1987) Therapeutic attempt to control streptococcosis in cultured rainbow trout by using erythromycin. Fish Pathology 22:25-8.
Kusuda R, Hamagutsi M (1988) Extracellular and intracellular toxins of streptococcus sp.isolated from yellowtail. Bulletin of the European Association of Fish Pathologists 8: 9-10.
Kusuda R, Hamagutsi M (1989) Determination of the median lethal dose of cell associated toxins from Streptococcus sp. in the yellowtail. Bulletin of the European Association of Fish Pathologists, 9:117-118.
Kusuda R, Kimura H (1978) Studies on the pathogenesis of streptococcal infection in cultured yellowtails : the fate of Streptococcus bacteria after inoculation, Journal of Fish Diseases 1:109-114.
Kusuda R, Kawai K, Toyoshima T, Komatsu I (1976) A new pathogenic bacterium belonging to the genus Streptococcus, isolated from an epizootic of cultured yellowtail. Bulletin of Japanese Society for Scientific Fisheries 42:1345-52.
Kusuda, R, Kawai, K, Salati, F., Banner, CR, Fryer, IL (1991). Enterococcus seriolocida sp.nov., a fish pathogen. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology 41:401-409.
Kusuda R, Sato H, Kawai K, Ninomiya M (1996) Increase in immunobiological activities of yellowtail immunized with formalin killed Enterococcus seriolocida. Nippon Suisan
Gakkaishi 62:780-784.
Lancefield RC (1933) A serological differentiation of human and other groups of haemolytic streptococci. Journal of Experimental Medicine 57:57195.
Leiro J, Toranzo AE, Estevez J, Lamas J, Barja JL, Ubeira FM (1996) The humoral response of turbot to recently isolated pathogenic Enterococcus stains. Cross reactivity with other Gram positive bacteria. Veterinary Microbiology 48:29-39.
Matsyuama H, Magindaan RE, Yano Τ (1992) Protective effect of scizophullan and scleroglucan on streptococcosis in yellowtail. Aquaculture 101:197-203.
Minami Τ (1979) Streptococcus sp., pathogenic to cultured yellowtail, isolated from fishes for diet. Fish Pathology 14:15-19.
Minami T, Nakamura Y, Ikeda Y, Ozaki H (1979) A beta haemolytic Streptococcus isolated from cultured yellotail. Fish Pathology 14:33-38
Nakatsugawa Τ (1983) A streptococcal disease of cultured flounder. Fish Pathology 17:281-285
Nieto JM, Devesa S, Quiroga I, Toranzo AE (1995) Pathology of Enterococcus sp. Infection in farmed turbot, Scophthalmus maximus L. Journal of Fish Diseases 18:21-30
Ohnishi K, Jo Y (1981) Studies on streptococcal infection in pondcultured fishes. I. Characteristics of a beta haemolytic Streptococcus isolated from cultured ayu and amago in 1977-1978. Fish Pathology 16:63-67
Perera PR, Johnson SK, Lewis DH (1997) Epidemiological aspects of Streptococcus iniae affecting tilapia in Texas. Aquaculture 152:25-33
Pier GB, Madin SH (1976) Streptococcus iniae sp. nov., a beta hemolytic streptococcus isolated fron an Amazon freshwater dolphin. Intern. Journal of Systematic Bacteriology 26:545-553
Plumb JA, Schachte JH, Gaines JL, Peltier W, Carroll Β (1974) Streptococcus sp. from marine fishes along the Alabama and northwest Florida coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 103:358-361
Rantz LA, Randall E (1995) Use of autoclaved extracts of hemolytic streptococci for serological grouping. Stanford Medical Bulletin 13:290-291
Rasheed V, Plumb JA (1984) Pathogenicity of a non-lemolytic group of Streptococcus sp in gulf killifish. Aquaculture 37:97-105
Roberts RJ (1987) Fish pathology, Bailliere-Tindall. London pp 467
Robinson JA, Meyer FP (1966) Streptococcal fish pathogen. Journal of Bacteriology 92:512
Romalde JL, Margarinos B, Nunez S, Barja JL, Toranzo AE (1996) Host range susceptibility of Enterococcus sp. strains isolated from diseased turbot: possible routes of infection. Applied Environmental Microbiology 62:607-611
Rotta J, Kraus RM, Lancefield RC, Everly W, Lackland H (1971) New approaches for the laboratory recognition of M types of group A streptococci. Journal of Experimental Medicine 134:1298-1315
Sakai M, Atsuta S, Kobayashi M (1987) Vaccination of rainbow trout against beta-haemolytic streptococcal disease. Bulletin of the Japanese Society of Scientific Fisheries 53:1373-1376
Sakai M, Konishi M, Atsuta S, Kobayashi M (1991) The chemiluminescent response of leucocytes from the anterior kidney of rainbow trout vaccinated with Vibrio anguillarum,
Streptococcus sp. and Renibacterium salmoninarum. Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi-Bulletin of the Japanese Society of Scientific Fisheries 57:237-241
Sakai M, Otubo T, Atsuta S, Kobayashi M (1993a) Enhancement of resistance to bacterial infection in rainbow trout by oral administration of bovine lactoferin. Journal of Fish Diseases, 16:239-247
Sakai M, Soliman MK, Yoshida T, Kobayashi M (1993b) Identification of pathogenic fish bacteria using the API ZYM system. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 6:1137-1141
Sanjeev S, Suredran PK (1992). Evaluation of reserved passive latex agglutination test kits for the detection of staphylococcal enterotoxins A, B, C and D in fishery products. Journal of Food Science and Technology 29:311-312
Sekiya T, Murata H, Sakai T, Yamauchi K, Yamashita K, Ugawa M, Kanai M, Shimada M (1991) An attempt to control lipid peroxidation in the tissues of yellowtails and to enhance their biological protective ability by feeding high a-tocopherol brown meals. Nippon Suisa Gakkaishi-Bulletin of the Japanese Society Of Scientific Fisheries 57:287-292
Shiomitsu K, Kusuda R, Ogusa H, Munekiyo M (1980) Studies on chemotherapy of fish disease with erythromycin II. Its clinical studies against streptococcal infection in cultured yellowtail. Fish Pathology 15:17-23
Sugita H, Asai T, Hayashi K, Mitsuya T, Amanuma K, Marayama C, Deguchi Y (1992) Application of ozone disinfection to remove Enterococcus seriolicida, Pasteurella piscicida and Vibrio anguillarum from seawater. Applied Environmental Microbiology 58:4072-4075
Sugiyama A, Kusuda R, Kawai K, Inada Y, Yoneda M (1981) The behavior of Streptococcus sp. bacteria in the organs of infected ayu. Bulletin of the Japanese Society of Scientific Fisheries 47:1003-1007
Stoffrregen DA, Backman SC, Perham RE, Bowser PR, Babish JG (1996) Initial disease report of Streptococcus iniae infection in hybrid striped (sunshine) bass and successful therapeutic intervention with fluoroquinolone antibacterial enrofloxacin. Journal of World Aquaculture Society 27:420-434
Toranzo AE. Cutrin JM, Nunez S, Romalde JL, Bargia JL (1995) Antigenic characterization of Enterococcus strain pathogenic forturbot and their relationship with other Gram positive bacteria. Diseases of Aquatic Animals 21:187-191
Toranzo AE, Devesa S, Romalde JL, Lamas J, Riaza A, Leiro J, Barja JL (1996) Efficacy of intraperitoneal and immersion vaccination against Enterococcus sp. infection in turbo. Aquaculture 134:17-27
Tinman S, Betotsky S, Bejerano I (1997) Effect of peptidoglycan PG* on fish phagocyte response and resistance to experimental Streptococcus difficile infection. Developments in Biological Standardization 90:435
Varvarigos Ρ (1998) Gram positive cocco-bacteria causing systemic disease in intensively reared fish in Greece Watson D W (1960) Host parasite factors in group A streptococcal infections. Pyrogenic and other effects of immunologic distinct exotoxins related to scarlet fever toxin. Experimental Medicine Wilkinson HW, Thacker
LG & Facklam R R (1973) Non-haemolytic group Β streptococci of human, bovine and ichthyic origin. Infection and Immunity 7: 496-498
Weinstein M, Low DE, Me Geer A, Willey B, Rose D, Coulter M, Wyper P, Borczyk A, Lovgren M (1997) Invasive infection Streptococcus iniae, Ontario 1995-1996. Journal of the American Medical Association 276:866-867
Yasunaga Ν (1982) Occurrence- of Streptococcus sp. a pathogen of cultured yellowtail in muscle of sardine for diets. Fish Pathology 17:195-198
Zlotkin A, Hershko H, Eldar A (1998). Possible transmission of Streptococcus iniae from wild fish to cultured marine fish. Applied Environmental Microbiology 64: 4065-67
Most read articles by the same author(s)