Author(s): Magarios B, Romalde JL, Barja JL, Toranzo AE
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The stability of Pasteurella piscicida strains in seawater and sediment microcosms at different temperatures (6 and 20 degrees C) was investigated during a 1-month period. Three strains of P. piscicida showed similar survival kinetics. By a standard plate count method they survived in water and sediment for only 6 to 12 days, depending on the strain and type of microcosm. During this starvation period, the metabolic activity of the cells was reduced by more than 80\%. Culturable cells of each P. piscicida strain persisted better in sediment than in water, as well as at 20 degrees C compared to 6 degrees C. However, in all the microcosms, the acridine orange direct counts remained at about 10(5) cells per ml during the experimental period, which demonstrated that P. piscicida possesses a capacity to enter a viable but not culturable state. Moreover, dormant cells were always resuscitated by the addition of fresh medium to the microcosms, since we recovered numbers of culturable cells similar to the acridine orange direct counts. These resuscitated cells exhibited the same respiration rate as that seen prior to the start of the experiments. Although the biochemical, physiological, and serological characteristics; lipopolysaccharides; membrane proteins; and plasmid content of P. piscicida strains were unaffected during the starvation conditions, the dormant cells were smaller (dwarf cells) and had increased surface hydrophobicity. The starved cells maintained their infectivity and pathogenic potential for fish, with 50\% lethal doses similar to those of the original strains.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development