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  • 1 Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungária krt. 21, H-1143 Budapest, Hungary
  • 2 National Food Chain Safety Office, Veterinary Diagnostic Directorate, Budapest, Hungary
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The objective of this study was to survey the incidence of Flavobacterium columnare in wild and cultured freshwater fish species in Hungary. This bacterium usually causes disease in waters of more than 25 °C temperature. However, with the introduction of intensive fish farming systems, infected fish exposed to stress develop disease signs also at lower temperatures; in addition, the temperature of natural waters rises to the critical level due to global warming. Twenty-five isolates from wild and cultured freshwater fishes were identified as F. columnare by specific PCR, although both the fragment lengths and the results of PCRRFLP genotyping with BsuRI (HaeIII) and RsaI restriction enzymes raised doubts regarding this species classification. Sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene revealed that 23 isolates belonged to the species F. johnsoniae and two represented Chryseobacterium spp. The isolates were found to have high-level multidrug resistance: all were resistant to ampicillin and polymyxin B, the 23 F. johnsoniae strains to cotrimoxazole, 88% of them to gentamicin, and 72% to chloramphenicol. The majority of the 25 isolates were sensitive to erythromycin (88%), furazolidone (76%), and florfenicol (68%).

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