“Flavobacterium columnare in juvenile striped catfish Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, reared in Cambodia”

Flavobacterium columnare is a bacterium that can strongly affect Pangasianodon hypophthalmus farms, especially in the young stages of fish. This disease is characterized by cutaneous, brachial and then systemic lesions that affect the health of the fish and can cause very high mortality. This disease also affects other warm water fish species (e.g. tilapia, American catfish), but other related bacterial species also severely affect fish farms worldwide.

The objective of this epidemiological study is to evaluate the prevalence of the bacterium in juveniles available in Cambodia, and to test three levels of diagnosis, from the most basic according to the symptoms of the disease to very sensitive molecular methods (LAMP) through classical and more modern microbiological methods (Maldi-Toff). Seven thousand (7000) juveniles will be individually inspected and then divided into two categories of symptomatic and symptomless fish. A subsample from each of these two categories will be subjected to the more extensive examinations mentioned above.  This work, coordinated by the Fishery Administration, is carried out in the laboratory of the University of Fisheries of the RUA and with the technical support of the IRD and CIRAD. Elodie Pepey, a molecular biologist from CIRAD, will soon be in Cambodia on a support mission for this study.