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Evaluation of hemato-immune parameters in African catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell 1822) experimentally challenged with Serratia marcescens

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Abstract

The pathogenic enterobacterium, Serratia marcescens, is a potential fish pathogen having been isolated in fish culturing environments. However, information on its effects on the physiology of cultured fish species is scarce. This study therefore aimed at ascertaining the physiological status of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) that has been experimentally challenged with S. marcescens. Healthy juvenile C. gariepinus were experimentally challenged with either 1 × 104 CFU/ml or 5 × 104 CFU/ml inoculums of S. marcescens via oral gavage and the hematological (percentage packed cell volume (PCV), red blood cells (RBC) counts, white blood cells (WBC), counts and differential leucocytes counts) and innate humoral (plasma levels of nitric oxide and respiratory burst) parameters were determined at 4 h, 24 h, 48 h, and 14 days post-challenge periods. The control fish were gavaged with distilled water. The bacterial-challenged fish had significantly higher WBC counts, and increased levels of plasma nitric oxide and respiratory burst while the RBC counts and the PCV decreased significantly in the bacterial-challenged fish compared to control. The response of the fish to bacterial challenge is both inoculum size- and duration-dependent. The incubation of C. gariepinus with 5 × 104 CFU/mL inoculums of S. marcescens elicited more effects in the fish compared to the control or 1 × 104 CFU/mL group. The results of this study showed that infection with S. marcescens has the potential to modulate the immune system of the fish with the inflammatory pathways playing an important role in the defense of the fish against bacterial infection.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Mrs. E. T. Ojo for assistance with the isolation and identification of Serratia marcescens

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JAA and COA were involved in the design of the experiment. JAA and JN were involved in data acquisition and analyses. JAA and JN were involved in writing the draft of the manuscript. JAA and COA were involved in writing the final draft of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Joseph A. Adeyemi.

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The experimental procedures conformed to national and international standards on the use of laboratory animals. Also, the study was approved by the institutional committee on the care and use of animals for experiments.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Adeyemi, J.A., Nwanze, J. & Adedire, C.O. Evaluation of hemato-immune parameters in African catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell 1822) experimentally challenged with Serratia marcescens. Comp Clin Pathol 31, 475–481 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00580-022-03346-0

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