Prevalence, molecular Cاharacterization, virulotyping, and antibiotic resistance of motile aeromonads isolated from Nile tilapia farms at northern Egypt

Document Type : Original Articles


1 Department of Fish Diseases, Animal health Research Institute (Mansoura branch), Mansoura, Egypt

2 Department of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt


Objective: This study was aimed to survey Aeromonas spp associated with cultured Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus (O. niloticus) showing signs of motile Aeromonas septicemia (MAS) at different fish farms; molecular characterization and identification of test isolates; and to test the isolates for their antimicrobial and virulence activities that contribute to its pathogenesis.
Design: Observational study.
Animals: 280 Nile tilapia.
Procedures: Clinically diseased 280 Nile tilapia, were collected from different localities at Kafr El-Sheik and Dakahlia governorates. The clinical picture and gross lesions were recorded. Aeromonas spp were isolated and presumptively identified using API20E. The identification was confirmed using PCR. Hemolysin (hylA), lipase, and aerolysin (aerA) virulence genes were detected among isolates obtained from different sampling sites. Besides, antimicrobial activity was reported for the identified A. hydrophila.
Results: General septicemic signs were evident on Nile tilapia including, skin hemorrhages and ulcerations, bilateral exophthalmia, congested internal organs with significant mortalities. The prevalence of bacterial infection among naturally diseased Nile tilapia was 79.17, 70, and 58.33 in Kafr El-Sheikh, El- Manzala, and Gamsa fish farms, respectively. The most prevalent bacterial isolates were aeromonads (29.84 %), of all, 65.63 A. hydrophila, 18.75 A. caviae, and 15.63 A. sobria. All isolates were positively amplified using a species-specifying primer to determine A. hydrophila. Virulence genes detection revealed that five A. hydrophila isolates (83.3 %) harbored the aerA gene. Meanwhile, hylA and lipase genes positive isolates were lower reaching 16.7 % for both genes. A. hydrophila was highly sensitive to ciprofloxacin, amikacin, trimethoprim, and chloramphenicol, and MAR index of A. hydrophila isolates was ranged from 0.16-0.42
Conclusion and clinical relevance: Our findings demonstrate that Aeromonas spp are among the bacterial pathogens implicated in summer mortalities in tilapia fish farms in Egypt. Besides, determination of the prevalence, virulence genes, and antibiotic resistance pattern associated with the disease outbreaks is critical data that warrant the development of strategies to proper monitoring and farm management practices.


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