Erysipelothrix piscisicarius is an emergent pathogen in fish aquaculture, particularly in the ornamental fish trade. Very little is known on the biology of this pathogen; however, the recurrence of infection and disease outbreaks after removing the fish from a system and disinfecting the tank suggest its environmental persistence. Moreover, biofilm lifestyle in E. piscisicarius has been suspected but not previously shown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the formation of biofilms on an abiotic surface in Erysipelothrix spp. We used hydroxyapatite-coated plastic pegs to demonstrate the attachment, growth, and persistence of E. piscisicarius on abiotic surfaces in both fresh and marine environments and to investigate the susceptibility of this pathogen to different disinfectants that are used in the aquaculture industry. E. piscisicarius formed biofilms that persisted significantly longer than planktonic cells did in both freshwater and saltwater over a period of 120 h (P = 0.004). The biofilms were also more resistant to disinfectants than the planktonic cells were. Hydrogen peroxide was the most effective disinfectant against E. piscisicarius, and it eradicated the biofilms and planktonic cells at the recommended concentrations. In contrast, Virkon and bleach were able to eradicate only the planktonic cells. This information should be taken into consideration when developing biosecurity protocols in aquaculture systems, aquariums, and private collections.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science