Published Date: 2010-11-18 09:00:04
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Ulcerative mycosis, fish - USA: (FL)
Archive Number: 20101118.4176
ULCERATIVE MYCOSIS, FISH - USA: (FLORIDA)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Mon 15 Nov 2010
Source: Clay Today [edited]
Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission's (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute have
determined the cause of a recent fish kill in the St. Johns River.
Testing confirmed that a fungus led to the fish die-off that occurred
in the river in mid-October .
The FWC received reports of dead fish and fish with ulcers beginning
[20 Oct 2010]. Reports came from an area of the river just south of
Interstate 95 near Jacksonville and as far south as Green Cove
Springs. The FWC responded by analyzing dead fish and water samples
from the area.
FWC biologists suspected that a fungus called _Aphanomyces invadans_
caused an infection, which produced ulcer-like lesions and the
eventual death of shad, mullet, and menhaden in the St. Johns River.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed the
FWC's findings when it conducted specialized testing on diseased-fish
samples provided by the FWC.
This fungus, which is a type of water mold, occurs naturally in
estuaries and freshwater systems in Florida -- generally in water
bodies with lower salinity levels. Scientists have confirmed that it
causes an ulcer-forming disease in estuarine and freshwater fish
worldwide. This is not the 1st time that fish with these types of
ulcers have been observed in the St. Johns River. Reports of similar
incidents date back to the late 1970s. However, biologists have no
evidence that there is a connection between this fish kill and the
large-scale fish kill that occurred in the river earlier this summer
FWC scientists track the location and extent of fish kills in natural
water bodies. This enables them to monitor the development of serious
problems in an ecosystem that might require investigation or
As a reminder, according to the Florida Department of Health,
harvesting distressed or dead animals for consumption is not advised
under any circumstances. More information is available at
<http://myfwc.com/Safety/>. Residents can report fish kills in
natural water bodies to the FWC through <http://myfwc.com/Contact/>,
or call the FWC Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511.
For more information on fish kills, visit <http://research.MyFWC.com>
and select "Fish and Wildlife Health" in the "Explore" section.
[The pathogenic oomycete _Aphanomyces invadans_ is the primary
etiological agent in ulcerative mycosis, an ulcerative skin disease
caused by a fungus-like agent of wild and cultured fish. _A.
invadans_ is the primary oomycete pathogen in ulcerative mycosis.
_A. invadans_ is the main etiological component of a serious disease
of Asian freshwater and estuarine fish stocks known as epizootic
ulcerative syndrome (EUS). It was described by Willoughby et al
(1995) under the name _Aphanomyces invaderis_, but is now listed in
the Index of Fungi (1997) as _A. invadans_. Recent work has shown
that this fungus appears to be pathogenically and culturally
identical to similar _Aphanomyces_ isolates from fish suffering from
red spot disease (RSD) in Australia and mycotic granulomatosis (MG)
in Japan (Lilley & Roberts 1997). Strains from the latter disease,
however, have been generally referred to as _Aphanomyces piscicida_
Portions of this comment were extracted from
<http://www.int-res.com/articles/dao/30/d030p187.pdf> and from
<http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/short/72/2/1551> - Mod.TG]
[The state of Florida can be seen on the HealthMap/ProMED-mail
interactive map of the US at
The St. Johns River and the affected area in northern Florida can be
seen on the map at