Epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) is one of the most destructive diseases of fresh and brackish water farmed and wild fish in the Asia–Pacific region. The in vitro germination and growth of the propagules of the EUS pathogen, Aphanomyces invadans (=A. piscicida), were assessed in the presence of the head–kidney macrophages, serum, and serum heated to inactivate complement proteins, of three EUS-susceptible and one resistant fish species. The susceptible species were: striped snakehead (Channa striata), giant gourami (Osphronemus gouramy) and silver barb [Barbodes (=Puntius) gonionotus], and the resistant species was Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Fish of all species were acclimatised to either low temperature (20° C±1·6) at which EUS is known to occur, or to high temperature (32° C±5·0) at which EUS does not occur, except for giant gouramis which were only studied at low temperature. The respiratory burst of the macrophages was assessed in the presence of A. invadans or the stimulant phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), and compared to that of controls. Anti- A. invadans antibody concentrations were assessed in all species except silver barbs. All assays were carried out at the same temperature, regardless of the temperature that the fish were kept at.
Macrophages of all species other than snakeheads inhibited fungal germination at both temperatures, though only silver barb and gourami macrophages could inhibit germling growth. PMA increased the respiratory burst in nearly all cases. The respiratory burst in the presence of A. invadans was consistently lower than that of controls, though the difference was only significant in the case of snakeheads. The respiratory burst of all macrophage treatments was higher at a low temperature. Except in the case of PMA-stimulated macrophages, regressions between respiratory burst and inhibitory action were only found in susceptible species, suggesting that the respiratory burst is important in those species, but is unable to prevent the proliferation of A. invadans.
Serum inhibited fungal germination in all cases other than low temperature tilapia, indicating that the EUS resistance of tilapia is not due to the serum. Inhibition of germling growth by serum only occurred in silver barbs and gourami. Heated serum did not inhibit germination in any case except that of high temperature snakehead, and in fact stimulated germination in the case of tilapia. Heating serum did not affect the growth inhibiting activity of silver barbs and gouramis, but it stimulated growth in some groups. At high temperatures snakeheads had high anti- A. invadans antibody concentrations, which may explain the inhibitory activity of their heated serum. A role for complement and antibodies in defence against A. invadans in susceptible species is suggested.
Miles, D.J.C.; Kanchanakhan, S.; Lilley, J.H.; Thompson, K.D.; Chinabut, S.; Adams, A. Effect of macrophages and serum of fish susceptible or resistant to epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) on the EUS pathogen, Aphanomyces invadans. Fish and Shellfish Immunology (2001) 11 (7) 569-584. [DOI: 10.1006/fsim.2001.0334]