Aeromonas shuberti as a cause of multi‐organ necrosis in internal organs of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus
A disease with white spots in internal organs of Nile tilapia occurred in Zhanjiang, southern China. Multiple, white nodules, 0.8–2.2 mm in diameter, were scattered throughout the liver, spleen and kidney of diseased fish. Signs of nodules reproduced after artificial infection with the isolated strain. Isolated bacteria were Gram‐negative, facultative anaerobic, motile, short rod‐shaped, with a length of 1.2–2.2 μm. Morphological and biochemical tests, as well as phylogenetic analysis, all strongly indicated that the isolate from tilapia is identical to Aeromonas schubertii (A. schubertii) which temporary named LF1708 strain. Antibiotic sensitivity assays showed the LF1708 is sensitive to 24 of 27 tested antibiotics. Pathogenicity test revealed that the isolate at the dose of 3.75 × 106 CFU/g killed 100% of experimental tilapia within 2 days and the dose of 1 × 107 CFU/g killed 100% of experimental zebrafish within 1 day. Histopathology of diseased tilapia infected with A. schubertii showed numerous necrotic lesions widely distributed in spleen, liver and kidney, and infiltration with a large number of bacteria. To our knowledge, this was the first report that associated A. schubertii with mortality in tilapia.