Submitted to: NWAC (National Warmwater Aquaculture Center) Aquaculture Newsletter
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2002
Publication Date: January 15, 2003
Citation: Bilodeau, A.L., Wise, D.J., Wolters, W.R. 2003. Early detection of edwardsiella ictaluri in nwac103 channel catfish fingerlings. NWAC (National Warmwater Aquaculture Center) Aquaculture Newsletter v.5. pp. 1-2. Technical Abstract: Enteric septicemia of catfish (ESC) is the most prevalent disease affecting commercial catfish farms; however, current diagnostic methods used to detect ESC are slow and lack accuracy at low levels of infection. A genetic detection assay that is rapid, highly sensitive, and accurate was developed to facilitate early detection of the bacterium that causes ESC, Edwardsiella ictaluri. The ESC detection assay was used to monitor E. ictaluri infection levels in the blood of NWAC channel catfish fingerlings cultured in 6 ponds at the USDA Catfish Genetics Unit, Stoneville, MS over a 3-week period during fall 2003. A total of 10 fish per pond (stocked at 120,000 fish per acre) was sufficient to detect consistent changes in bacterial concentrations in blood samples. This study will be expanded to incorporate more ponds and to determine the utility of this assay in managing genetically improved catfish lines released to commercial producers.