Theses and Dissertations

Title: Columnaris disease in warm-water fish and lethal toxicity levels of some chemicals to the causal organism, Chondrococcus columnaris (Davis)

Name: Shell, Eddie Wayne

Degree: MS

Chair: Dr. John S. Dendy

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 1954

Pages: 73

Keywords: Columnaris,Disease,Toxicity,Chemicals.


The effects of columnaris disease on warm-water fish were determined by observing infected fish both from natural outbreaks and outbreaks produced under laboratory conditions. The disease produced lesions varying in size, on the head, inside the mouth, on the gills, around the dorsal fin, and on the caudal peduncle. Lesions on the caudal peduncle were much larger than lesions around the head. Most lesions observed were shallow and yellowish-tan in color. Almost pure cultures of the causal organism could be taken from the scales on the edges of the lesions. Only a very few of the organisms could be found in the center of the lesions. When debris or a scale was taken from one of the lesions, the causal bacteria were piled one on another to form peculiar but very typical "haycock" shaped masses of bacterial cells. This characteristic action on the part of the organism was used as the basis for the presumptive test for the disease.Of approximately 2,000 fish killed in a 26-acre farm fish pond over a 60-day period, 85 per cent died when water temperatures were 60 to 70o F. Deaths occurred until water temperatures reached 86o F. Several outbreaks occurred at even higher temperatures in other ponds. The causal organism was isloated in pure culture and identified as Chondrococcus columnaris (Davis). A total of 10 chemicals, acriflavine, copper sulfate, formalin, Hyamine 1622, malachite green, potassium permanganate, PMA, Roccal, sulfadiazine, and sulfamerazine was tested to determine the lethal toxicity level of each chemical to the causal organism. Each chemical, at various concentrations, was added to culture media and/or used in aqueous solutions as a dip. On the basis of the chemical tests, further work, especially field tests, is recommended on acriflavine, malachite green, potassium permanganae, PMA, Roccal, and sulfamerazine.

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