Journal : Aquaculture Research , vol. 32 , p. 935–945 , 2001
International Standard Numbers
Printed : 1355-557X
Electronic : 1365-2109
Publication type : Academic article
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Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus L.) were fed diets based on a commercial recipe supplemented with either linseed, soybean or marine oil prior to cohabitant challenge with Aeromonas salmonicida ssp. salmonicida. Mortality varied significantly between the three dietary groups. Highest mortality (48%) was observed in fish fed the marine oil and the lowest mortality (20%) was in the group fed soybean oil. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) examination of the digestive tract of uninfected fish demonstrated substantial numbers of bacterial cells between microvilli. However, only a few bacteria were recovered that were associated with the microvilli of infected fish. Immunocytochemical staining/labelling investigations using TEM and an immunogold method were performed on mid-gut segments of fish fed the marine oil diet and showed augmentation of goblet cells and the presence of A. salmonicida ssp. salmonicida in the gastrointestinal tract of diseased fish after challenge with the pathogen. It is suggested that the gastrointestinal tract could be an infection route of A. salmonicida ssp. salmonicida. The greater prevalence of goblet cells supports the suggestion that sloughing off mucus is a protective response against bacterial infections. These results make an important contribution to our understanding of how nutrition can affect the disease resistance of fish.