Altered gut microbiota associated with intestinal disease in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus)

  • Ngoc Tuan Tran
  • Jing Zhang
  • Fan Xiong
  • Gui-Tang Wang
  • Wen-Xiang Li
  • Shan-Gong Wu
Original Paper


Gut microbiota plays a crucial importance in their host. Disturbance of the microbial structure and function is known to be associated with inflammatory intestinal disorders. Enteritis is a significant cause of high mortality in fish species, including grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus). Study regarding the association between microbial alternations and enteritis in grass carp is still absent. In this study, changes in the gut microbiota of grass carp suffering from enteritis were investigated using NGS-based 16S rRNA sequencing. Six healthy and ten abnormal fish (showing reddening anus, red odiferous fluid accumulating in the abdominal capacity, and flatulence and haemorrhage in the intestine) were collected from a fish farm in Huanggang Fisheries Institute (Hubei, China). Our results revealed that the diversity, structure, and function of gut microbiota were significantly different between diseased and healthy fish (P < 0.05). Particularly, members of the genera Dechloromonas, Methylocaldum, Planctomyces, Rhodobacter, Caulobacter, Flavobacterium, and Pseudomonas were significantly increased in diseased fish compared with that in healthy fish (P < 0.05). Predicted function indicated that microbiota significantly changed the specific metabolic pathways (related to amino acid metabolism, xenobiotics biodegradation and metabolism, and carbohydrate metabolism) in diseased fish (P < 0.05). Taken together, our findings point out the association between changes of the gut microbiota and enteritis in grass carp, which provide basic information useful for diagnoses, prevention, and treatment of intestinal diseases occurring in cultured fish.


Grass carp Intestinal inflammation Enteritis Gut microbiota Structure and function 16S rRNA gene 



The first author, Ngoc Tuan Tran, would like to thank Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) for providing a Postdoctoral Fellowship under the CAS President’s International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI). This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31372571 and No. 31272706) and the earmarked fund for China Agriculture Research System (No. CARS-45-15).

Supplementary material

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Aquaculture Disease Control, Ministry of Agriculture, and State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of HydrobiologyChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine BiologyShantou UniversityShantouChina
  4. 4.Marine Biology InstituteShantou UniversityShantouChina

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