Title

Comparison of susceptibility of five cutthroat trout strains to Myxobolus cerebralis infection

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Aquatic Animal Health

Volume

14

Issue

1

Publication Date

1-1-2002

First Page

84

Last Page

91

Abstract

Susceptibility to infection by the myxosporean parasite Myxobolus cerebralis was compared among strains of cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarki in two separate exposure tests in the laboratory. In both tests, each strain was exposed to 1,000 triactinomyxons/fish for 2 h in 8.0 L of water. In the first test, three strains of 10-week-old cutthroat trout were compared: two strains of Bonneville cutthroat trout O. c. utah (Bear Lake and southern Bonneville strains) and Yellowstone cutthroat trout O. c. bouvieri. In the second test, these strains plus Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat trout O. c. subsp. and Colorado River cutthroat trout O. c. pleuriticus were exposed at either 5 or 10 weeks of age. The prevalence of the M. cerebralis infection was determined by single-round polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay 5 weeks after exposure. In the first test, the prevalence was significantly lower in the Bear Lake strain of Bonneville cutthroat trout (78.5%) than in the Yellowstone (97.8%) or southern Bonneville (100%) strains when exposed at 10 weeks of age. In the second test, the Bear Lake strain also had significantly lower infection rates after exposure at 5 (54%) or 10 weeks (82%) of age than the other four strains, which did not differ from each other (94–100%). The severity of the infection was also significantly reduced in Bear Lake Bonneville cutthroat trout, as suggested by the strength of the product of the single-round PCR assay. These results suggest that intraspecific differences in susceptibility to M. cerebralis infection exist, further supporting the need to maintain the genetic diversity among subspecies and geographic variants of cutthroat trout.

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