This study was promoted following concern over increasing mortality on 2 farms rearing Atlantic salmon Salmo salar in the Shetland Isles, Scotland. A Mycobacterium sp. was isolated from moribund, market-sized Atlantic salmon. Biochemical tests, lipid analysis and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) techniques confirmed the bacterium to be Mycobacterium chelonae. Multiple greyish-white miliary granuloma-like nodules were observed in several tissues. Dense hard-packed nodules contained abundant acid-fast bacteria. Atlantic salmon injected with M. chelonae remained sub-clinically infected, demonstrating the chronic nature of this disease. The source of the pathogen was not identified.
- Atlantic salmon
- Mycobacterium chelonae