Investigating the involvement of a Midichloria -like organism (MLO) in red mark syndrome in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss



Metselaar M, Thompson KD, Paley R, Green DM, Verner-Jeffreys D, Feist S & Adams A (2020) Investigating the involvement of a Midichloria -like organism (MLO) in red mark syndrome in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. Aquaculture, 528, Art. No.: 735485.

Red mark syndrome (RMS) is a skin condition in Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss that has been reported worldwide but was first seen in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2003. The current study was conducted to examine if there was an association between a Midichloria-like organism (MLO) and RMS using a statistically appropriate sample set, whilst determining if there is a lack of association with Flavobacterium psychrophilum implicated in disease in previous studies. Fish in this study were obtained from three sites positive for RMS in the UK and United States (US), and three sites in the UK and the Netherlands that had no previous history of this condition. Samples taken from RMS-affected sites were found to show typical RMS pathology. Analysis of the major organs of affected fish by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) demonstrated a significantly higher presence of the MLO in the RMS-affected tissues. Although most of the tissues were positive for the MLO, the highest correlation was seen in the skin, whilst the tissues from the unaffected fish were all negative. Thus, a strong positive correlation was found between the MLO and RMS-affected fish, whilst no association was found between the RMS-affected fish and F. psychrophilum other than superficial presence in the skin. The use of immunohistochemistry showed positive staining of what was considered to be MLO-related antigens in the internal organs of most RMS-affected fish. Attempts were made to culture the MLO, but no MLO was isolated.

Red mark syndrome; Oncorhynchus mykiss; Midichloria -like organism; Disease correlation; Epidemiology; Immunohistochemistry; Quantitative PCR

Aquaculture: Volume 528

FundersUniversity of Stirling and Intervet-Schering Plough
Publication date15/11/2020
Publication date online17/05/2020
Date accepted by journal29/04/2020
PublisherElsevier BV

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Dr Darren Green
Dr Darren Green

Senior Lecturer, Institute of Aquaculture

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