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19 April 2018 Potential of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos), and Wood Storks (Mycteria americana) to Transmit a Hypervirulent Strain of Aeromonas hydrophila between Channel Catfish Culture Ponds
Fred L. Cunningham, Madison M. Jubirt, Katie C. Hanson-Dorr, Lorelei Ford, Paul Fioranelli, Larry A. Hanson
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Abstract

Aeromonas hydrophila is a Gram-negative bacterium ubiquitous to freshwater and brackish aquatic environments that can cause disease in fish, humans, reptiles, and birds. Recent severe outbreaks of disease in commercial channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) aquaculture ponds have been associated with a hypervirulent Aeromonas hydrophila strain (VAH) that is genetically distinct from less virulent strains. The epidemiology of this disease has not been determined. Given that research has shown that Great Egrets (Ardea alba) can shed viable hypervirulent A. hydrophila after consuming diseased fish, we hypothesized that Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos), and Wood Storks (Mycteria americana) could also serve as a reservoir for VAH and spread the pathogen during predation of fish in uninfected catfish ponds. All three species, when fed VAH-infected catfish, shed viable VAH in their feces, demonstrating their potential to spread VAH.

© Wildlife Disease Association 2018
Fred L. Cunningham, Madison M. Jubirt, Katie C. Hanson-Dorr, Lorelei Ford, Paul Fioranelli, and Larry A. Hanson "Potential of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos), and Wood Storks (Mycteria americana) to Transmit a Hypervirulent Strain of Aeromonas hydrophila between Channel Catfish Culture Ponds," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 54(3), 548-552, (19 April 2018). https://doi.org/10.7589/2017-06-128
Received: 6 June 2017; Accepted: 27 December 2017; Published: 19 April 2018
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KEYWORDS
American White Pelicans
aquaculture
catfish
Double-crested Cormorants
epidemiology
hypervirulent Aeromonas hydrophila
Ictalurus punctatus
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