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Epitheliocystis is an infectious disease in freshwater and marine fish species throughout the world. It affects the gills and skin epithelium and is characterised by the presence of hypertrophied cells, which contain granular inclusions (Nowak and LaPatra 2006). Presently, epitheliocystis has been reported in more than 50 species of freshwater, marine and wild fish species worldwide (Nowak and LaPatra 2006, Karlsen and others 2008, Mitchell and others 2010).
Epitheliocystis is caused by a genetically diverse group of intracellular Gram-negative bacteria belonging to the order Chlamydiales (Meijer and others 2006, Nowak and LaPatra 2006, Karlsen and others 2008).
The objective of this study was to investigate the epitheliocystis agent in grass carp.
In September 2011, grass carp (n=450, average length 10 cm) were sampled from a fish farm in Austria for routine diagnostic examination, and maintained at 25°C in our laboratory. After three weeks, the collected fish demonstrated clinical signs, such as: lethargy, respiratory distress and development of transparent cysts on the gill lamellae. After euthanasia by MS222, tissues specimens (gills, kidney, liver and spleen) were sampled from 20 fish for diagnosis. For bacteriological examination, the samples were investigated using different bacteriological media, and incubated for up to five days at different temperatures under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. For histopathological examination, tissues were fixed in 10 per cent neutral buffered formalin, sectioned, stained with haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and examined by light microscope.
Genomic DNA was extracted from infected …