Bacterial Opportunistic Pathogens of Fish

  • Nicolas Derome
  • Jeff Gauthier
  • Sébastien Boutin
  • Martin Llewellyn
Part of the Advances in Environmental Microbiology book series (AEM, volume 3)


Bacterial opportunistic pathogens are defined as microorganisms causing disease in hosts experiencing atypical environmental stressors or having impaired immune function. In intensive aquacultural rearing, stress factors (such as hypoxia, abnormal pH, and high population density) generate an optimal setting for such pathogens to thrive. The status of these organisms—either as natural components of a healthy microbiome, or a latent step in disease establishment, or both—is still not entirely clear. In this chapter, we outline the current understanding (i.e., taxonomy, biology, disease impact, and current treatment options) of major opportunist bacterial genera of special interest in aquaculture: Aeromonas, Flavobacterium, and Vibrio. On a broader scale, we consider the importance of host/microbiota/environment interactions in opportunistic infections of teleost fish. Not only does this cross talk play a crucial role in defining disease, but their importance also reveals novel strategies to prevent and cure opportunistic diseases. As such, preventive measures to reduce host stress, along with active interventions to enhance (or restore) the protective effect of the microbiome (i.e., prebiotics, probiotics, synbiotics), can mitigate bacterial opportunistic diseases.


Bacteria Opportunistic pathogens Aeromonas Flavobacter Vibrio Fish Teleosts Host–microbiota interactions Novel treatment strategies Prebiotics Probiotics Synbiotics 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas Derome
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jeff Gauthier
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sébastien Boutin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Martin Llewellyn
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS)Université LavalQuébecCanada
  2. 2.Département de BiologieUniversité LavalQuébecCanada
  3. 3.Department of Infectious Disease, Medical Microbiology and HygieneUniversität HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  4. 4.Molecular Ecology and Fisheries Genetics Laboratory, School of Biological SciencesBangor UniversityGwyneddUK

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