Streptococcus iniae, the etiological agent of streptococcosis in fish, is an important pathogen of cultured and wild fish worldwide. During the last decade outbreaks of streptococcosis have occurred in a wide range of cultured and wild fish in the Americas and Caribbean islands. To gain a better understanding of the epizootiology of S. iniae in the western hemisphere, over 30 S. iniae isolates recovered from different fish species and geographic locations were characterized phenotypically and genetically. Species identities were determined biochemically and confirmed by amplification and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Repetitive-element palindromic PCR fingerprinting as well as biochemical and antimicrobial susceptibility profiles suggest that a single strain of S. iniae was responsible for two different disease outbreaks among reef fishes in the Caribbean, one in 1999 and another in 2008. Interestingly, a majority of the isolates recovered from cultured fish in the Americas were genetically distinct from the Caribbean isolates and exhibited a trend toward higher minimal inhibitory concentration with respect to several antibiotics as well as greater genetic variability. The biological significance of this genetic variability is unclear, but it could have implications for future vaccine development and treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science