Molecular epidemiology of Flavobacterium psychrophilum from Swiss fish farms

Strepparava, Nicole; Nicolas, Pierre; Wahli, Thomas; Segner, Helmut; Petrini, Orlando (2013). Molecular epidemiology of Flavobacterium psychrophilum from Swiss fish farms. Diseases of aquatic organisms, 105(3), pp. 203-210. Inter-Research 10.3354/dao02609

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Bacterial cold water disease (BCWD) and rainbow trout fry syndrome (RTFS) caused by Flavobacterium psychrophilum are 2 of the major diseases causing high fish mortality in salmonid fish farms. The molecular epidemiology of F. psychrophilum is still largely unknown. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) has been previously used for this pathogen and underscored a correlation between clonal complexes and host fish species. Here we used MLST to study the relationships among 112 F. psychrophilum isolates from rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss and brown trout Salmo trutta fario and S. t. lacustris in Swiss fish farms between 1993 and 2012. The isolates belonged to 27 different sequence types (STs). Most of the Swiss outbreaks were associated with strains belonging to clonal complexes CC-ST2 and CC-ST90, found in both rainbow trout and brown trout and represented by several STs. Eight ST singletons could not be connected to any known clonal complex. Already reported from other parts of Europe and North America, CC-ST2 was the most frequent clonal complex observed, and it caused the majority of outbreaks in Switzerland, with CC-ST90 being the second most important type. In the tightly interconnected Swiss fish farms, no association between clonal complex and host fish was detected, but a temporal evolution of the frequency of some STs was observed. The occurrence of sporadic STs suggests high F. psychrophilum diversity and may reflect the presence of different sequence types in the environment.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Center for Fish and Wildlife Health (FIWI)

UniBE Contributor:

Strepparava, Nicole; Wahli, Thomas and Segner, Helmut


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture








Susanne Portner

Date Deposited:

22 Aug 2014 14:29

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:29

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

F. psychrophilum, BCWD, RTFS, Myxobacteria, Pathology, Clonal complex, Sequence complex, Allele type, MLST, Flavobacteriosis




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