Microbial Ecology

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 179–195

Ecology ofAeromonas hydrophila in a South Carolina cooling reservoir

  • Terry C. Hazen


Densities ofAeromonas hydrophila were determined monthly from December 1975 to December 1977 in a South Carolina cooling reservoir which receives heated effluent from a single nuclear production reactor. Selected water quality parameters and prevalence of red-sore disease among largemouth bass were monitored simultaneously.

Higher densities ofA. hydrophila were observed in areas of the reservoir receiving effluent from the reactor. Densities ofA. hydrophila generally were heterogeneous in the water column. The sediments had lower densities ofA. hydrophila than water immediately above.A. hydrophila could not be isolated from sediments greater than 1 cm from the water interface. Temperature, redox potential, pH, and conductivity were all significantly correlated with densities ofA. hydrophila in the water column. The temporal and spatial distribution and abundance ofA. hydrophila in water were not related to total organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon, particulate organic carbon, inorganic carbon, or dissolved oxygen. High densities ofA. hydrophila were observed in mats of decomposingMyriophyllum spicatum and, enterically, in largemouth bass, several other species of fish, turtles, alligators, and snails. The greatest densities ofA. hydrophila in water occurred during March and June with a second peak in October. The mean monthly densities ofA. hydrophila were positively correlated with the incidence of infection in largemouth bass. Largemouth bass from thermally altered parts of the reservoir had a significantly higher incidence of infection. It is concluded that thermal effluent significantly affects the ecology ofA. hydrophila and the epizootiology of red-sore disease within Par Pond.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Christy, E. J., J. O. Farlow, J. E. Bourque, and J. W. Gibbons: Enhanced growth and increased body size of turtles living in thermal and post-thermal systems. In J. W. Gibbons and R. R. Sharitz (eds.): Thermal Ecology, pp. 277–284. AEC Symposium Series (CONF-730505) (1974)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Davies, R. G.: Computer Programming in Quantitative Biology. Academic Press, New York (1971)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Davis, W. A., J. G. Kane, and V. G. Garaguis: HumanAeromonas infections: a review of the literature and a case report of endocarditis. Medicine (Baltimore)57, 267–277 (1978)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Emerson, H. and C. Nonrris: “Red Leg”-an infectious disease of frogs. J. Exp. Med.7, 32–60 (1905)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Esch, G. W., and T. C. Hazen: Thermal ecology and stress: a case history for red-sore disease in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). In: J. H. Thorpe and J. W. Gibbons (eds.): Energy and Environmental Stress in Aquatic Systems, pp. 331–363. DOE Symposium Series (CONF-771114) (1978)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Esch, G. W., T. C. Hazen, R. V. Dimock, Jr., and J. W. Gibbons: Thermal effluent and the epizootiology of the ciliateEpistylis and the bacteriumAeromonas in association with centrarchid fish. Trans. Am. Microsc. Soc.95, 687–693 (1976)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fliermans, C. B., R. W. Gorden, T. C. Hazen, and G. W. Esch:Aeromonas distribution and survival in a thermally altered lake. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.33, 114–122 (1977)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fulghum, D. D., W. R. Linton, Jr., and D. Taplin: FatalAeromonas hydrophila infection of the skin. South. Med. J.71, 733–741 (1978)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gibbons, J. W., and R. R. Sharitz: Thermal alteration of aquatic ecosystems. Am. Sci.62, 660–670 (1974)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gibson, D. M., M. S. Hendrie, N. C. Houston, and G. Hobbs: The identification of some gram negative heterotrophic aquatic bacteria. In F. A. Skinner and J. M. Shewan (eds.): Aquatic Microbiology, pp. 135–159. Academic Press, New York (1977)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Giesy, J. P., and D. Paine: Uptake of americium-241 by algae and bacteria. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.33, 89–96 (1977)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Grace, J. B., and L. J. Tilly: Distribution and abundance of submerged macrophytes, includingMyriophyllum spicatum L. (Angiospermae), in a reactor cooling reservoir. Arch. Hydrobiol.4, 473–480 (1976)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Haley, R., S. P. Davis, and J. M. Hyde: Environmental stress andAeromonas liquefaciens in American and threadfin shad mortalities. Prog. Fish-Cult.29, 193 (1967)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hanson, P. G., J. Standridge, F. Jarret, and D. G. Maki: Freshwater wound infection due toAeromonas hydrophila. J. A. M. A.238, 1053–1054 (1977)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hazen, T. C.: The ecology ofAeromonas hydrophila in a South Carolina cooling reservoir. Ph.D. thesis, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C. (1978)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hazen, T. C., G. W. Esch, A. B. Glassman, and J. W. Gibbons: Relationship of season, thermal loading and red-sore disease with various hematological parameters inMicropterus salmoides. J. Fish Biol.12, 491–498 (1978)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hazen, T. C., and C. B. Fliermans: The distribution ofAeromonas hydrophila in natural and man-made thermal effluents. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.38, 166–168 (1979)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hazen, T. C., C. B. Fliermans, R. P. Hirsch, and G. W. Esch: The prevalence and distribution ofAeromonas hydrophila in the United States. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.36, 731–738 (1978)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hazen, T. C., M. L. Raker, G. W. Esch, and C. B. Fliermans: Ultrastructure of red-sore lesions on largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides): the association of the peritrichEpistylis sp. and the bacteriumAeromonas hydrophila. J. Protozool.25, 351–355 (1978)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kuznetsov, S. E.: The Microflora of Lakes and Its Geochemical Activity. University of Texas Press, Austin (1970)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kuznetsov, S. I., and V. I. Romanenko: Microbiological characteristics of the Tsimlyansk reservoir. In: Sbornik: Mikroflora, fitoplankton: vysshie rasteuiya unutreunikh vodoemove; Trudy Instituto Biologii Unutreunikh15, 3–6 (1967)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lewis, W. M.: Evaluation of heat distribution in a South Carolina reservoir receiving heated water. In J. W. Gibbons and R. R. Sharitz (eds): Thermal Ecology, pp. 1–27. AEC Symposium Series (CONF-730505)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Marcus, L. C.: Infectious diseases of reptiles. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc.159, 1626–1631 (1971)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Mead, A. R.:Aeromonas liquefaciens in the leukodemia syndrome ofAchatina fulica. Malacologia9, 43 (1969)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Miller, R. M., and W. R. Chapman: Epistylis andAeromonas hydrophila infections in fishes from North Carolina reservoirs. Prog. Fish-Cult.38, 165–168 (1976)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Neill, J. S., and D. F. Babcock: The dissipation of reactor heat at the Savannah River Plant. USDOE Document (DP-1247), Savannah River Laboratory, E. I. DuPont de Nemours (1971)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Parker, E. D., M. F. Hirshfield, and J. W. Gibbons: Ecological comparisons of thermally affected aquatic environments. J. Water Pollut. Control Fed.45, 726–733 (1973)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Rand, M. C.: Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C. (1975)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Rogers, W. A.: Disease in fish due to the protozoanEpistylis (ciliata: peritricha) in the south-eastern U.S. Proc. 25th Conf. S. E. Assoc. Game and Fish Comm., pp. 493–496 (1971)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ross, A. J., and C. A. Smith: Effect of temperature on survival ofAeromonas liquefaciens, Aeromonas salmonicida, Chondrococcus columnaris andPseudomonas fluoresens. Prog. Fish-Cult.36, 51–52 (1974)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Rouf, M. A., and M. M. Rigney: Growth temperatures and temperature characteristics ofAeromonas. Appl. Microbiol.22, 503–506 (1971)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Sharitz, R. R., J. W. Gibbons, and S. C. Gause: Impact of production reactor effluents on vegeation in a southeastern swamp forest. In J. W. Gibbons and R. R. Sharitz (eds): Thermal Ecology, pp. 356–362. AEC Symposium Series (CONF-730505) (1974)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Shotts, E. B., Jr., J. L. Gaines, C. Martin, and A. K. Prestwood:Aeromonas-induced deaths among fish and reptiles in an eutrophic inland lake. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc.161, 603–607 (1972)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Shotts, E. B., Jr., and R. Rimler: Medium for the isolation ofAeromonas hydrophila. Appl. Microbiol.26, 550–553 (1973)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Snieszko, S. F.: The effects of environmental stress on outbreaks of infectious disease of fish. J. Fish Biol.6, 197–208 (1974)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Thorpe, J. E., and R. J. Roberts: An aeromonad epidemic in the brown trout. J. Fish Biol.4, 441–451 (1972)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Tilly, L. J.: Comparative productivity of four Carolina lakes. Am. Midland Naturalist90, 356–365 (1973)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Tilly, L. J.: Changes in water chemistry and primary productivity of a reactor cooling reservoir (Par Pond). In F. G. Howell, J. B. Gentry, and M. H. Smith (eds.): Mineral Cycling in South-eastern Ecosystems. ERDA Symposium Series (CONF-740513) (1975)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Vezina, R., and R. Desrochers: Incidence d'Aeromonas hydrophila chez la perche,Perca flavescens. Can. J. Microbiol.17, 1101–1103 (1971)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Vigerstad, T. J., and L. J. Tilly: Hyperthermal effluent effects on heleoplankton cladocera and the influence of submerged macrophytes. Hydrobiologia55, 81–85 (1977)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Wohlegemuth, K., R. L. Pierce, and C. A. Kirkbride: Bovine abortion associated withAeromonas hydrophila. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc.160, 1001 (1972)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Wright, R. T., and J. E. Hobbie: The uptake of organic solutes in lake water. Limnol. Oceangr.10, 22–28 (1965)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Zar, J. H.: Biostatistical Analysis. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. (1974)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terry C. Hazen
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentWake Forest UniversityWinston-Salem
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural SciencesUniversity of Puerto RicoRio PiedrasPuerto Rico

Personalised recommendations