OAHN Aquatics Network Project: Baseline survey for Lactococcus garvieae group in Ontario salmonid facilities

Project Lead: Dr. Marcia Chiasson (UofG) and Dr. Alexandra Reid (OMAFRA)

Collaborators:  TBD

Project Overview

This project aims to conduct a baseline survey for Lactococcus garvieae and L. petauri in Ontario salmonid facilities. Piscine lactococcosis, which is a disease syndrome caused by these two pathogens as well as L. formosensis, has been emerging as a major pathogen of cultivated marine and freshwater salmonids around the world, causing a rapid septicemic disease with high mortality when water temperatures are approximately 15C and greater.  While some clinical evidence shows some facilities in Ontario have had outbreaks of Lactococcus petauri, the Lactococcus garvieae group also infects domestic ruminants and swine, which may contribute to bacterial loads found in waterways. It is also an occasional human pathogen of increasing prevalence, with some cases having food borne transmission and potentially it can act as a true zoonosis. A survey to look for presence of Lactococcus garvieae group  would allow for the creation of risk mitigation measures to stop the spread throughout Ontario. It is possible that Lactococcus garvieae group is more widespread than currently known and understanding this distribution would allow proactive management of this warm water pathogen, which would be expected to be more common in disease outbreaks with global warming heating the Great Lakes.

Lactococcus Resources

Video: Lactococcosis – The Ontario Rainbow Trout Aquaculture Perspective with Dr. Veronique LePage