In situ hybridisation identifies the gill as a portal of entry for PKX (Phylum Myxozoa), the causative agent of proliferative kidney disease in salmonids
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PKX (Phylum Myxozoa) is an important pathogen affecting salmonid culture in Western Europe and North America. All of the available oligonucleotide probes developed for the PCR amplification of PKX DNA were examined for their ability to detect PKX in fixed tissue sections using in situ hybridisation. Out of the 12 probes examined, only four stained PKX in tissue sections. The specificity of these probes to PKX was examined by testing them individually against a range of myxosporean infections. One of the probes (1032) cross-reacted with Sphaerospora truttae infecting brown trout kidney and stained this parasite in tissue sections, while probe 6R stained stickleback DNA. The results from these studies allowed for an optimised, relatively rapid, in situ hybridisation protocol to be developed for PKX detection. Using this protocol, a preliminary study was conducted on the life history of the parasite in the rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. This demonstrated the presence of PKX in the gill arch 3 days after initial exposure in an enzootic river. It is suggested that a portal of entry for PKX is the gill. From here, it migrates to the kidney where the disease progresses as previously described.
KeywordsLife History Kidney Disease Tissue Section Rainbow Trout Causative Agent
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