Multilocus sequence typing reveals clonality in Saprolegnia parasitica outbreaks

Ravasi, Damiana and De Respinis, Sophie and Wahli, Thomas (2018) Multilocus sequence typing reveals clonality in Saprolegnia parasitica outbreaks. Journal of Fish Diseases.

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The molecular epidemiology of fish pathogen Saprolegnia parasitica is still largely unknown. We developed a multilocus sequence typing scheme based on seven housekeeping genes to characterize 77 S. parasitica strains isolated from different fish host species at different times and from different geographic areas in Switzerland between 2015 and 2017. Ten different diploid sequence types (DSTs) were identified. The majority (52%) of outbreaks in Switzerland seemed to be caused by one genotype, namely DST3, which was recovered from farm‐raised and wild‐caught fish in all the geographic areas and river basins included in the study. DST3 was also recovered from the rivers Bienne (eastern France) and Doubs, where the episodes of massive mortality due to saprolegniosis started in 2009. Another genotype(DST7) showed, to a lesser extent, a distribution across different river basins, while eight DSTs were unique to a defined geographic area or river basin. The occurrence of sporadic DSTs indicates a certain degree of diversity within S. parasitica in the environment. The wide distribution of DST3 suggests that a clonal population may have spread in eastern France and Switzerland across geographic barriers, with strong implications for the management of both captive and wild fish populations.

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