Retrospective study of phaeohyphomycosis in aquarium-housed fish, with first descriptions of Exophiala lecanii-corni and Neodevriesia cladophorae in fish

Abigail R. Armwood, Connie F. Cañete-Gibas, Jennifer A. Dill-Okubo, Nathan P. Wiederhold, Alvin C. Camus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A broadening fish host range is affected by novel and known pigmented fungal pathogens. A review of 2,250 piscine submissions received by the Aquatic Pathology Service, University of Georgia, revealed 47 phaeohyphomycosis cases (2.1%), representing 34 bony and cartilaginous fish species. The majority involved bony fish (45/47, 95.7%) and were predominantly marine (41/47, 87.2%), with only a few freshwater species (4/47, 8.5%). Cartilaginous fish cases included two zebra sharks (Stegostoma fasciatum) (2/47, 4.3%). Northern seahorses (Hippocampus erectus) had the highest incidence overall (7/47, 14.9%). Culture and sequencing of the internal-transcribed spacer region of the rDNA (ITS), large ribosomal subunit gene D1/D2 domains (LSU) and the DNA polymerase II gene (RPB2) were performed for fungal identification when fresh tissue was obtainable. Exophiala, Ochroconis and Neodevriesia spp. were identified, with Exophiala as the most common fungal genus (8/11, 72.7%). Exophiala lecanii-corni and Neodevriesia cladophorae were described for the first time from fish. Microscopically, lesions were characterized by necrosis, granulomatous inflammation and angioinvasion most frequently affecting the skin/fin, skeletal muscle and kidneys. In this study of diverse aquarium-housed fish species, phaeohyphomycosis cases occurred sporadically and in rare outbreaks with variable pathologic presentations, tissue distributions and severities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1563-1577
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Fish Diseases
Volume44
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Exophiala
  • Neodevriesia
  • Ochroconis
  • phaeohyphomycosis
  • pigmented fungus
  • retrospective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)

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