Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 101, Issue 16, pp 6459–6471 | Cite as

Acinetobacter pittii, an emerging new multi-drug resistant fish pathogen isolated from diseased blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala Yih) in China

  • Jie Li
  • Jinglong Cao
  • Xu Wang
  • Ning Liu
  • Weimin Wang
  • Yi LuoEmail author
Applied genetics and molecular biotechnology


Despite the reason that genus Acinetobacter works as a grave human pathogen, very few numbers of researches have been done so that term it as a pathogen in respect to fish. As per the current study, isolation of three pathogenic bacterial strains was carried out from infected blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala Yih), from a farm in Yixing city, Jiangsu province, China, which displayed symptoms like tail-rot, shedding scales and ascites in addition to gentle ulceration on the entire body regardless of size and sex of fish. Taking into account the bases of morphology, varied biochemical tests, 16S rDNA segment and rpoB gene sequence analysis, in addition to phylogenetic study, the pathogenic bacteria was identified as A. pittii. Recursive infectivity experiment validated their pathogenicity. Pathological modifications of blunt snout bream infected with A. pittii were taken into observation. Confirmation of the pathogenicity was additionally made by infectivity studies of zebra fish (Brachydanio rerio) and nematode (Caenorhabditis elegans). The drug resistance of these isolates was also scrutinized. All isolates, recognized as multiple drug resistant strains, showcased resistance to clindamycin, streptomycin, vancomycin, cephalosporins, ampicillin, piperacillin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, while showcasing sensitivity to norfloxacin, gentamicin, amikacin, and imipenem. Multi-locus sequence typing of these A. pittii isolates brought to light a new clonal lineage of Acinetobacter leading to fish septicemia outbreaks together with indicating that Acinetobacter stains with the new sequence type 839 may be the dominant clone. This is the first report dealing with the infection caused by A. pittii in fish that suggests that A. pittii has a prospective threat to be encountered by freshwater fish farming in addition to causing human clinical infections.


Acinetobacter pittii Blunt snout bream Pathogenic Bioassay Drug susceptibility Multi-locus sequence typing 



We thank for Prof. Lu Chengping and Prof. Liu Yongjie at Nanjing Agricultural University for generously providing the A. hydrophila J-1 strain. We thank for Prof. Dr. Sun at State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University for generously providing the C. elegans N2 strain.

Compliance with ethical standards


This study was funded by grants from the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities [52902-0900206088] and the Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province [2014CKB504].

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Animal ethics approval for the present project was obtained from the Animal Ethics Committee of Huazhong Agricultural University.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jie Li
    • 1
  • Jinglong Cao
    • 1
  • Xu Wang
    • 1
  • Ning Liu
    • 1
  • Weimin Wang
    • 1
  • Yi Luo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Fisheries, Key Laboratory of Freshwater Animal Breeding, Ministry of AgricultureHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhan CityPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Agricultural MicrobiologyHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Freshwater Aquaculture Collaborative Innovation Center of Hubei ProvinceWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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