Observations were made using histopathological techniques in conjunction with a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol for the specific detection of "Candidatus arthromitus" on DNA extracted from wax-embedded tissues and fresh digestive contents of rainbow trout. Samples positive for "Candidatus arthromitus" DNA included fish with rainbow trout gastroenteritis (RTGE), clinically normal cohabiting fish, and apparently healthy controls from RTGE positive and RTGE negative sites. The results obtained from the PCR were confirmed by nucleotide sequencing. "Candidatus arthromitus" DNA was found in distal intestine as well as in sections of pyloric caeca, suggesting that both these locations are appropriate for molecular detection of "Candidatus arthromitus" DNA in trout. Furthermore, rainbow trout fry distal intestinal samples from two different hatcheries where RTGE had not been reported were also positive. Differences in "Candidatus arthromitus" DNA detection between paraffin wax-embedded and fresh digestive content samples from the same fish suggested that it may be predominantly epithelium-associated in healthy trout. Parallel histopathological observations indicated that pyloric caeca are the preferred site for visualizing segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) in trout with RTGE. The results of this study showed that the presence of SFB was not invariably associated with clinical disease and that more information is required to understand the role of these organisms.
- “Candidatus arthromitus”
- polymerase chain reaction
- rainbow trout
- segmented filamentous bacteria