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Validation of diagnostic assays to screen broodstock for Flavobacterium psychrophilum infections


Long, A and Polinski, MP and Call, DR and Cain, KD, Validation of diagnostic assays to screen broodstock for Flavobacterium psychrophilum infections, Journal of Fish Diseases, 35, (6) pp. 407-419. ISSN 1365-2761 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-2761.2012.01357.x


It is hypothesized that the frequency of bacterial coldwater disease outbreaks can be reduced through the detection of the aetiologic agent, Flavobacterium psychrophilum, in broodstock followed by culling of eggs from heavily infected broodstock. Before a culling programme can be instituted, however, it is necessary to determine the sensitivity and specificity of existing assays for the detection of F. psychrophilum. In this study, tissue and ovarian fluid samples were collected from 224 fish at five hatcheries and screened using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), a membrane-filtration fluorescent antibody test (MF-FAT), bacteriological culture and nested PCR. Latent class analysis was used to estimate sensitivity and specificity of kidney culture, kidney ELISA, nested PCR and MF-FAT. Analytical sensitivity of the ELISA varied but was greatest when bacteria were cultured under iron-limiting conditions. Diagnostic sensitivity estimates ranged from 0.02 (kidney culture) to 0.97 (kidney ELISA). Specificity estimates ranged from 0.02 (MF-FAT) to 0.98 (kidney ELISA). In a separate challenge experiment, the ELISA confirmed the presence of F. psychrophilum in subclinically infected fish. Results from this study demonstrate that the ELISA is an appropriate tool to screen broodstock and provides an indication of infection severity, which is crucial for implementation of a screening/culling programme.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:coldwater disease, disease prevalence, ELISA, Flavobacterium psychrophilum, membrane-filtration FAT
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Microbiology
Research Field:Infectious agents
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - aquaculture
Objective Field:Aquaculture crustaceans (excl. rock lobster and prawns)
UTAS Author:Polinski, MP (Mr Mark Polinski)
UTAS Author:Cain, KD (Associate Professor ken Cain)
ID Code:82538
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:NC Marine Conservation and Resource Sustainability
Deposited On:2013-02-06
Last Modified:2013-05-22

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