Title page for ETD etd-3617102339731121

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Densmore, Christine L.
Author's Email Address Christine_Densmore@usgs.gov
URN etd-3617102339731121
Title Bacterial Kidney Disease and Its effect on the Salmonid Immune response
Degree PhD
Department Veterinary Medical Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Cipriano, Rocco
Ford, Larisa
Robertson, John L.
Starliper, Cliff
Veit, Hugo P.
Smith, Stephen A. Committee Chair
  • Renibacterium salmoninarum
  • salmonid
  • immunity
  • bacterial kidney disease
Date of Defense 1997-11-04
Availability unrestricted
Renibacterium salmoninarum, the etiological agent of bacterial kidney disease (BKD) of salmonid fish, is a pathogen of great concern among fisheries and the aquaculture industry worldwide. Previous investigations have indicated the pathogenesis of BKD is complex. It is a chronic, multisystemic, granulomatous disease with a number of potential immunomodulatory effects on the host. Given the current limitations for treatment and control of BKD, it is imperative that the pursuit of development of methods of prevention, namely management strategies and vaccination, be continued. To do so, the immunology of BKD must be elucidated in order to better understand and manipulate the associated immune responses to our advantage.

This dissertation is composed of four chapters which relate to BKD and the associated immune responses of three species of susceptible salmonid fish as follows:

Exogenous stress factors, through stress-induced immunosuppression, have been shown to influence BKD development in cultured salmonids. Chapter 1 examines the effects of two environmental stressors common to fish culture, overcrowding and overfeeding, as they affect BKD development and R. salmoninarumantigen prevalence among juvenile chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Immunomodulatory interaction between pathogen and host in BKD is widely reported and merits further investigation. Particularly, the immunological parameters affected and the role of the extracellular protein (ECP) of R. salmoninarum are of interest. Chapter 2 examines the in vivo immune response of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) following exposure to the ECP in terms of both humoral and cell-mediated immunological parameters, including the immune response against another bacterial pathogen. Chapter 3 addresses the in vitro effects of the ECP upon specific splenic immunocyte functions, phagocytosis and respiratory burst activity, in brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis).

The immune-complex mediated hypersensitivity reported to occur with BKD has considerable ramifications for control measures involving immunostimulation via antigen exposure. Further investigation is warranted to discern the significance and consistency of immunological hypersensivity in BKD pathogenesis. Chapter 4 examines the renal lesions, including immunopathologic changes and indications of immune-mediated disease, of brook trout exposed to R. salmoninarum.

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