First identification of mycobacteriosis in Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus)
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Fish Diseases. 2023, . 10.1111/jfd.13765
Mycobacterium infection in fish is a well-known disease problem globally, mainly in the farming of ornamental fish or fish for food. Less is known about the prevalence, distribution and the effects such infections have on wild fish species. Presumptive mycobacteriosis has previously been observed in Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus). Since 2018, there has been an increase in reports of granulomatous kidney disease in Atlantic mackerel with the suspicion of this being mycobacteriosis. A total of six individuals were sent to the Institute of Marine Research for further examination. They were caught in the Nordic Sea by either commercial fishing vessels or during the International Ecosystem Summer Survey in the Nordic Seas (IESSNS research cruise) between 2018 and 2020. Samples for both histological and molecular analysis were collected. Here, we detect a likely novel Mycobacterium species in tissue samples from Atlantic mackerel with this condition, on the basis of rDNA and protein gene sequences. The same unnamed bacterium seems to have been found in some Pacific marine fishes. The macroscopic and histological manifestation of the disease is described. Over the past years, there has been an increase in reports of mycobacteriosis worldwide and climate change has been suggested as one of the driving forces as these bacteria prefer warm water.