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Pathogenicity and culture studies comparing the Aphanomyces involved in epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) with other similar fungi

Lilley, J.H.; Roberts, R.J.

Pathogenicity and cultural experiments described here provide futher evidence that a distinct species of Aphanomyces is responsible for much of the characteristic pathology of epizootic ulceration syndrome (EUS). Zoospores from 58 fungal isolates were injected intramuscularly in snakehead fish, Channa striata (Bloch). These fungi comprised: Aphanomyces strains isolated from EUS-affected fish; saprophytic Aphanomyces, Achlya and Saprolegnia spp. from infected waters; and further saprolegniaceous fungi involved in other diseases of aquatic animals. Only the Aphanomyces strains isolated from fish affected by EUS, Australian red spot disease (already considered synonymous with EUS) or mycotic granulomatosis described from Japan were able to grow invasively through the fish muscle and produce the distinctive EUS lesions. In contrast to Aphanomyces astaci Schikora, the EUS-Aphanomyces was shown to be unable to infect noble crayfish, Astacus astacus L. The snakehead-pathogenic strains were further distinguished from all the other fungi under comparison by their characteristic temperature-growth profile and inability to grow on certain selective fungal media.